I mean by liberal democracy one in which pluralism is celebrated, power is widely distributed, justice is dispensed without regard to politics, the press is free and respected, minorities protected, and where an opposition has a chance to win real, governing power.
The space for this in America has significantly shrunk these past two years and this election has only consolidated that new status quo. In a textbook case of authoritarian creep, Trump will now further marginalize the press, rid his Cabinet of anyone not wedded to him entirely (bye-bye, General Mattis and Jeff Sessions), quash or marginalize any independent investigation into his campaign, politicize the Justice Department, and launch new inquiries against his opponents.
Do conservatives really not believe what liberals believe, that “liberal democracy is one in which pluralism is celebrated, power is widely distributed, justice is dispensed without regard to politics, the press is free and respected, minorities protected, and where an opposition has a chance to win real, governing power.”
What do they believe instead? that pluralism should be put down, power not be widely distributed, that justice should be dispensed in regard to one’s politics, that the press is the enemy of the people and should be declared Fake News, that minorities should be left unprotected, to fend for themselves, and that the opposition should be deprived of the chance to win real governing power?
In the same issue of NYMagazine Jonathan Chait has this to say:
On November 7, President Trump woke up to a world in which Democrats had smashed through a gerrymandered map to win three dozen House seats, depriving him of both his legislative majority and his effective immunity from congressional oversight and accountability. He responded in the most Trumpian way: with an atavistic display of brute dominance. He insisted the election had been a triumph (“I thought it was a very close to complete victory”), belittled Republicans who had lost for declining his “embrace,” pulled the press pass from CNN reporter Jim Acosta, and warned Democrats not to investigate anything in his administration or he would refuse to work with them and have Senate Republicans investigate them back….
From the very beginning, when Donald Trump and his father ignored demands from the Nixon Justice Department that they stop discriminating against African-Americans, through his repeated tax fraud and financial scams, legal impunity has formed the through-line of his career. Holding him accountable serves not only Democrats’ self-interest but the rule of law. That process (of impeachment?) begins now.