‘Stop the Steal’ Goes Global

‘Stop the Steal’ Goes Global

Here’s a quiz: Which world leader made the following statements?“We are witnessing the greatest election fraud in the history of the country, in my opinion in the history of any democracy.”“This may be the most important speech I’ve ever made. I want to provide an update on our ongoing efforts to expose … tremendous voter …

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The Oligarchs Who Turn Democracy Into Something Else

The Oligarchs Who Turn Democracy Into Something Else

In 2015, Daniel Obajtek was the county commissioner of Pcim, a tiny district south of Kraków and north of the Polish-Slovak border. “County commissioner” is perhaps a grand-sounding title, but I can’t find a better one. In Polish, the term for the job he held is wójt, an old-fashioned word that means something like “village …

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If Belarus Gets Away With It, Other Dictators Will Follow

If Belarus Gets Away With It, Other Dictators Will Follow

Even when our most basic civilizational values are in dispute, there are a few sets of rules and regulations that we nevertheless manage to share. The laws of the sea, for example, or the norms governing the conduct of air-traffic controllers. Pilots of any nationality, even when flying to Caracas, Havana, or Pyongyang, have no …

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Navalny Is Showing Russia What Courage Is

Navalny Is Showing Russia What Courage Is

When Alexei Navalny boarded a plane to Moscow on January 17, he turned his life into a metaphor. He knew it, his wife knew it, and everybody else on the plane knew it. So did the millions of people who had watched his documentary videos, who had seen the witty interviews he did on the …

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What America’s Vaccination Campaign Proves to the World

Mass Vaccination Is a Show of American Might

Every so often, an emerging technology changes the global balance of power, alters alliances, and shifts the relationships among nations. After World War II, nuclear weapons overthrew all of the existing geopolitical paradigms. The countries that got the bomb were considered global powers; countries that did not have it sought it, so that they could …

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The Science of Making Americans Hurt Their Own Country

How Russia Got Americans to Do Its Dirty Work

The National Intelligence Council has released an unclassified report assessing, retrospectively, foreign threats to the 2020 election. It has a few twists and turns: The Iranian government attempted to run some kind of online influence campaign; the Chinese government considered doing the same but then dropped the idea. But most of the report is about …

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How to Put Out Democracy’s Dumpster Fire

The Internet Doesn’t Have to Be Awful

Illustrations by Yoshi Sodeoka This article was published online on March 8, 2021. To read the diary of Gustave de Beaumont, the traveling companion of Alexis de Tocqueville, is to understand just how primitive the American wilderness once seemed to visiting Frenchmen. In a single month, December 1831, Tocqueville and Beaumont were on a steamship …

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A Real Place Deserves Real Rights

D.C. Statehood Is a Matter of Justice

A couple of years ago, in the halcyon days before the pandemic, I went with a small group of friends to visit Cedar Hill, Frederick Douglass’s house in the southeastern corner of Washington, D.C. On the way there, we drove past the rowhouses of what used to be called Uniontown, the city’s first suburb, constructed …

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Frustration Is Spreading Faster Than the Vaccine Is

America’s Soviet-Style Vaccine Rollout

If you are the child of elderly parents in parts of the United States right now, and if you are trying to get them a COVID-19 vaccine, you are living in a shortage economy, a world of queues and rumors, a shadowy land of favoritism and incompetence—a world not unlike the world of the very …

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Coexistence Is the Only Option

The Rebels Are Still Among Us

They could be realtors or police officers, bakers or firefighters, veterans of American wars or CEOs of American companies. They might live in Boise or Dallas, College Park or College Station, Sacramento or Delray Beach. Some are wealthy. Some are not. Relatively few of them were at the United States Capitol on January 6, determined …

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Europeans Recognize Trumpism for What It Is

Luxembourg Has Had Enough of Trump

Lucky are the foreign ministers of very small, very consensus-driven countries, for those who play their cards right sometimes get to hold office for many years. One of the luckiest card players out there is Jean Asselborn, the amusing polyglot who has been the foreign minister of Luxembourg since 2004. Although his country is tiny …

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What Trump and His Mob Taught the World About America

What Trump and His Mob Taught the World About America

We have promoted democracy in our movies and books. We speak of democracy in our speeches and lectures. We even sing about democracy, from sea to shining sea, in our national songs. We have entire government bureaus devoted to thinking about how we can help other countries become and remain democratic. We fund institutions that …

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