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A pro-Trump caravan clashed with counterprotesters in Portland, Oregon. One man, purportedly affiliated with a far-right group, died. One of our writers warns that such violence speaks to something troubling about the state of democracy.
The American democratic system depends on the ability to disagree peacefully. Today, that premise is under threat, our staff writer Franklin Foer warns—and the threat is coming from the White House.
“When a society discards politics, violence assumes its place,” Frank writes, citing the deaths of two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and that of the man in Portland. Donald Trump is not alone in his turn away from politics, Frank argues: He merely accelerated what the Republican Party has been flirting with since the Newt Gingrich era.
Last year, our Ideas editor Yoni Applebaum argued that a party in dire electoral straits might turn to undemocratic tactics to maintain its power. And that could be how America ends, he warned.
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