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Author: Heather Cox Richardson

How internal racism and external disinformation campaigns turn us against each other

Observers often make the mistake of thinking that Russian disinformation is designed to pit the American left against the American right to sow chaos. But, in fact, Russian disinformation is designed to pit the American left and the American right against the American center, because it is in the great American center that democracy lives. It is true that, despite the many stories out there about how divided we are as a country, there is a vast American center in which most people agree about most things, including hot button issues like abortion, gun control, and immigration. In August...

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America in Crisis: How “We the People” saved Democracy from oligarchs in 1850, 1890, and 1920

With America experiencing a dire situation for the soul of the nation, a lot of folks have asked if America has ever been in such a crisis before, and what people in the past did to save democracy. The answer to the first question is yes it has, three times, although only once was this bad. In the 1850s, the 1890s, and the 1920s, oligarchs took over the nation’s government, controlling the White House, Congress, and the courts. In the 1850s, elite southern slaveholders took over the Democratic Party and insisted that they should have the right to spread...

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Popular Sovereignty and Party Polarization: A lesson from the Kansas-Nebraska Act on political fortunes

In the short term, Trump and his supporters appear to have won their fight to remain in power. The initial position of his defenders in his impeachment trial was that he had neither abused the power of his office by withholding military aid to Ukraine in exchange for help smearing his rival Joe Biden, nor obstructed Congress by covering the scandal up. But the House impeachment managers’ masterful presentation, along with the leaking of material from former National Security advisor John Bolton’s forthcoming book saying that Trump himself had tried to rope Bolton into the scheme kiIIed that argument....

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