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“Does the history of tyranny apply to the United States? Certainly the early Americans who spoke of ‘eternal vigilance’ would have thought so. The logic of the system they devised was to mitigate the consequences of our real imperfections, not to celebrate our imaginary perfection. We certainly face, as did the ancient Greeks, the problem of oligarchy-ever more threatening as globalization increases differences in wealth. The odd American idea that giving money to political campaigns is free speech means that the very rich have more far more speech, and so in effect far more voting power than other citizens. We believe that we have checks and balances but have really faced a situation like the present [the Trump Administration]: when the less popular of the two parties controls every level of power at the federal level, as well as the majority of statehouses. The party that exercises such control proposes few policies that are popular with the society at large, and several that are generally unpopular-and thus must either fear democracy or weaken it.”
(Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny, 29-30, 2017)

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