The Atlantic

One Week to Save Democracy

Lessons from Frederick Douglass on the tortured relationship between protest and change
Source: Getty / The Atlantic

In America’s house divided, racism—its structures and its individual acts—is tearing us apart in what feel like irreparable ways. On top of that, more than 106,000 Americans are dead from a virus that’s still raging, nearly 40 million others are unemployed, and hundreds of businesses as well as police buildings and vehicles are burning in American cities. As small but violent groups peddle conspiracy theories and wish for some kind of civil war, the country’s civic bonds are threatening to unravel.

At the heart of the protests over the recent police killings that have swept the nation is Donald Trump’s presidency. Trump’s depraved rhetoric, his vile racism, his willful ignorance, his vicious contempt for the free press, his extraordinary mishandling of the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic, and his preening with a Bible while trying to militarize Washington, D.C., are the template on which incidents such as those in Minneapolis; Louisville, Kentucky; Brunswick, Georgia; and New York City’s Central Park have exploded into public consciousness. Authoritarians thrive on chaos and on sowing distrust in institutions, and Trump has done both. We need some historical grounding.

[Anne Applebaum: History will judge the complicit]

If America is coming apart, the 1850s provide

Vous lisez un aperçu, inscrivez-vous pour en lire plus.

Plus de The Atlantic

The Atlantic9 min de lecture
Yes, the Pandemic Is Ruining Your Body
The first time my hips locked up, the reason was at least a little bit glamorous. It was 2018, and I was returning from vacation in Sicily, which was the fanciest thing I’d ever done by several orders of magnitude. As I went through the motions—and,
The Atlantic7 min de lectureAmerican Government
MAGA Is an Extreme Aberration
All movements adjust their tactics over time. The president’s most extreme supporters have concluded that violence is useful.
The Atlantic8 min de lecturePolitics
The Boogaloo Bois Prepare for Civil War
Updated at 8:47 a.m. ET on January 15, 2021. In the menagerie of right-wing populist groups, the boogaloo bois stand out for their fashion, for their great love of memes, and, to put it plainly, for the incoherence of their ideology. Which is saying