January 30, 2017 (Washington, D.C.)— One of the chief vulnerabilities of America’s political system is its reliance on the president to be restrained by his own ethics and public spirit. But what happens if somebody assumes the office lacking those qualities? In The Atlantic’s March cover story, published now at TheAtlantic.com, senior editor David Frum argues that if Congress is quiescent and the public listless, President Donald Trump can set the country down a path toward illiberalism, institutional subversion, and endemic graft.
“How to Build an Autocracy” is online now, ahead of the full release of The Atlantic’s March issue, where there is also an audio-version of the article. In conjunction with the piece, Atlantic Studios has debuted an original video in which Frum lays out his central arguments.
Jeffrey Goldberg, editor in chief of The Atlantic, explained the decision to publish the cover story a week earlier than planned: “These unusual times demand unusual publishing decisions. Given the precipitous nature of the decision by the White House to issue an executive order concerning refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, I thought that it would be better for people to read this piece sooner, rather than later.”