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Democracy dies if demagogues rule

“How Democracies Die”, by Levitsky and Ziblatt, should be required reading for all who care about a viable democracy. It traces the history of dictators like Hitler, Pinochet of Chile, and others who gained control of a democracy by earning the confidence of the angry and disaffected. A party that welcomes their support assumes they can control these demagogues. They are wrong. Eventually, with compliant senators, they become a majority. As their first priority, they start eliminating all in high positions whose loyalty is not to them, but their oath of office. Sound familiar?

If any party, for short term success, allows this to happen, democracy is lost. It happened in Venezuela and Hungary and it can happen here. Mr. Trump is gradually eliminating the career people in leadership and putting his own in charge. He has just fired four inspectors general, watchdogs who impartially investigate constitutional corruption. They were not appointed to be loyalists to presidents. When they began investigating Trump's government allies for malfeasance, that was enough for him to” lose confidence in them” and fire them. We should be very scared.

Bernice Krantz




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