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The Declaration of Independence states that "all men are created equal," but for much of U.S history that has been an aspirational ideal, according to, a professor of government at Cornell University. Now the pillars of American democracy, including the rule of law, the legitimacy of opposition and free and fair elections, are under attack like never before, she explains.
Mettler, the co-author of, says that while the challenges aren’t new, their confluence under President Donald Trump has led to the weakening of the very necessary checks and balances built into our political system.
- Mettler and her co-author, Robert Lieberman, have identified four issues that have historically undermined American democracy. For the first time, all four factors: , , and , are ascendent at the same time, they say.
- One of the threats to democracy, racism, has “been like this underground stream through all of American history. It’s always there kind of waiting to be tapped and sometimes it comes to the surface more than others,” according to Mettler.
- Mettler is concerned about the forthcoming presidential election. She fears there could be violence and hotly-contested results. If President Trump is re-elected, she foresees damage to the integrity of civil rights and liberties and potentially the emergence of a “ ,” which only bears the “outer look of democracy.”
- Learn more about “ ” in 1898 in Wilmington, North Carolina and how it of .
- Find out why the U.S. a “flawed democracy” and how the country around the world.
- Read more about the , during administration and previous presidencies.