Thursday, March 14, 2024

A Big Lift

When I was growing up and being taught the American system of government, we would always be taught that the U.S. government has checks and balances in its design, so you can't take it over with a sentiment of the moment.  But I think what we've learned is that the institutions that protect us are fragile.  History suggests that all democracies are fragile.  So we have to be on the alert for political movements that want to undermine democratic institutions, because the purpose of democratic institutions is not to put the best people in power, it's to maintain democracy even when the worst people are in power.  That's a big lift.

-- Mike Godwin, who in 1990 coined "Godwin's Law", in an interview with Politico, "‘Trump Knows What He's Doing': The Creator of Godwin's Law Says the Hitler Comparison Is Apt" (19 December 2023)

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