Trump is anti-democratic like the CCP is democratic. Stop with the political propaganda masquerading as journalism. Look up the definition of democratic and then pack the courts, eliminate the filibuster, eliminate the electoral college, destroy individual freedom of speech, eliminate individual, family, local and state power to chose over centralized federal power. Those are all Democrat attacks on Democracy.

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Logically, making each voter equal is inherently more democratic.

So that begs the question: what about eliminating the electoral college will make the USA less democratic?

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We are a constitutional democratic republic, not a pure democracy. The reason is that pure democracies fail. Eliminating the electoral college would make the US political system fail and thus it would be much less democratic in outcomes.

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I would love evidence for this claim that "Eliminating the electoral college would make the US political system fail".

Then you need to explain "fail" how and in what way?

Californians would make more EPA requirements? New Yorker's would apportion more funds to their subways instead of the US building more highways in Alabama?

I don't see how this would be the less democratic. If anything, you're catastrophizing.


Why should my vote count more than yours? If it counts 63x more than yours because of lines, then don't I win this argument based solely on the fact that politics is a power game?

Your point would have to be 63x better than mine. Plus, it's on you to describe how this current regime makes for a more democratic outcome (here comes something about rural voters not being bullied, but why accept the opposite?). I simply have to point out that it's unfair and that going to 1:1 enfranchises everyone regardless of lines on a map.

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Tyranny of the majority. Most voters are uniformed and prone to voting themselves short-term benefits at the cost of long-term system health. If direct democracy worked we would see it everywhere and we would see evidence that it works. We don't. It does not.


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It still wouldn't be a direct democracy if my vote counted the same as yours. You're the person who brought up, "We are a constitutional democratic republic, not a pure democracy." So even if our votes counted the same, we would not have a direct democracy because no matter what we would be electing representatives. (This should not have to be said.)

Also, if you're afraid of votes being 1:1 ask yourself, "What does the constitution even do?"

I will note, making votes 1:1 does not take away the constitution or the amendments. It won't change the Senate, the courts, or the House.

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The people of one state have never been more politically different than other states except maybe when the south was committed to slavery. Your vote for decisions that impact people in another state should not count the same. It should be representative each state's majority. There everyone's vote counts within their state on a 1:1 basis.

The system is this way for balance. It isn't perfect... it is just the best ever designed.

We already have lopsided majority democracy in the lower house. And look at the power wielded by that majority. The House speaker being elected by an uber liberal California district wields that power against almost every other citizen who is less liberal. After the 2022 election this is likely to flip... with a red-state rep taking the House lead and then poking bluechecks as a rule. Is this 1:1?

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Pure democracies fail? Are Western European countries in the process of failing? I had not noticed.

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There are no pure democracies in Europe that I am aware of. The Swiss are direct democracies within Cantons only. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_democracy

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Sorry, I was referring to "Democracy means a form of government that is "For the people, by the people, of the people". That is people governing the nation are representatives elected among the people of the nation, they are duty bound against the citizens of the nation, and are elected by the citizens only." In our system the vote of the citizens does not determine the winner, only the vote of the electoral college. And our judges are confirmed by a legislative body which is not representative of the voters.

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Only for the President. You leave out the national legislature and all the state and local government elections. Electing DAs has proven disastrous as would electing judges.

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I'm sorry, but to be frank, this is a nonsensical argument that exploits people's ignorance. Trumpists love regurgitating it out of convenience.

It is true that the advantage of a republic over a pure democracy is that it provides a buffer against the passions of mob rule. That's why the Electoral College was designed to work in a manner reflecting this reality. It was intentionally eletist - Electors were meant to be learned men with the judgement to select a suitable occupant of the office. The Framers intentionally made this the job of a singular body constructed for this sole purpose, instead of the Senate, to best insulate against raw politics.

Unfortunately this turned out to be another casualty of the naive hope that America would not become captive to political parties, which it did. As a result, states began simply sending Electors who would vote according to the preferences of the party that controlled the state.

Relative to this, the fact that states eventually began holding popular elections to determine the Electors was something of a step up in legitimacy. But if one has a problem with the idea of a popular vote, what we have now is certainly no better: a popular vote with a massive round-off error, where most states' Electors are still a foregone conclusion given the dominance of one or the other political parties, and only about a dozen states actually have a chance of supporting a different party than in the previous election.

What's more, given that the point of the Electoral College was to keep populist demagogues out of the country's highest office, it has been a spectacular failure in that it was responsible for getting one elected when a popular vote would have sent him packing. Read the Federalist Papers some time - Trump is precisely the kind of candidate the Founders were afraid of - ignorant, of low character, and helped into power by a foreign adversary.

And no, the point of the Electoral College was *not* to give more weight to smaller states. That may have been a deal-sweetener for those states, but it was not meant to enable minority rule. And it was certainly not meant to favor rural areas over urban ones - the very opposite of the explicitly eletist sentiments underlying the theoretical advantage of republics. Whatever our biases and prejudices may be, our framers certainly maintained no corn pone sentiments about the inherent virtue or wisdom of the "salt of the earth".

The Electoral College as it is now is nothing but a Frankenstein's monster of republican and democratic ideals and serves only to enable minority rule of the very kind that it was intended to prevent. If electing a President is to be subject to the fickle passions of the general public, then the system for doing so should, at the very least, abide by the wishes of the majority of its citizens. Otherwise it serves no valid democratic purpose - republican or otherwise.

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At least we agree about the relevance of the Electoral College now. And we may now risk that states may take over the electoral college vote and not recognize the state's popular vote!

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Personally I don’t think more democracy equals a better political system. We aren’t a simple democracy and that is a good thing. The parts of our system that should be more democratic, such as communication and press freedom, are restricted by both parties, but moreso by the Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party is obsessed with the number of people voting--it wants more people voting regardless of whether those voters are competent or even citizens. This is not good for a country, if it doesn’t want incompetent or corrupt bureaucrats running it.

I think there should be a basic literary, numeracy and civics test to vote. The power to vote is potentially more dangerous than the power to drive but the latter we require lots of hoops but the former the Democratic Party wants to give to 18 year olds who haven’t even read the first line of the constitution or couldn’t interpret a pie chart. Why? Because they can get those votes just by promising them, falsely, more of the pie.

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It's completely fair to ponder, "I don't think more democracy equals a better political system".

If your argument is something to the effect of, "18 year olds are not mentally capable of weighing their political decisions" then I believe you need to prove that. As it currently stands, 18 years are given adulthood and a massive legal change. I find it unethical to separate adulthood from voting (or drinking). The drinking age limit of 21 is currently ridiculous and if we were a more ethical society we would make it 18; for liberty.

On the tests, I would say, "Who gets to decide?" That seems ripe for discrimination and one could see a slippery slope towards fewer and fewer eligible voters over time. Slippery slope arguments are logical fallacies, so take it with a grain of salt. Maybe we could do it and make criteria such as, "The test must include 90% of the US population."

Side question for anyone reading: Has there ever been an election decided by the 10% least intelligent people in society? That would be fascinating. Of course, the joke here is the 2016 election. :) A good cheap shot.

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Some 18 year olds are prepared to deliberate on politics and make a rational vote. I’d say most are not. When I was 18 I was probably prepared -- if I had actually spent a meaningful amount of effort in researching the stufff under debate. But I didn’t. And I didn’t vote when I was 18. And I think that was a good decision on my part given how I didn’t do my homework. Simply having a basic test that is voluntary -- would winnow out the 18 year olds ill prepared. Most wouldn’t have the motivation to even take the test. But I’d also consider upping the age to 21 except for 18 - 20 year olds who joined the military *and* passed the basic civics exam. If someone is going to fight at the bidding of our government, they should be allowed to vote, whatever their age -- even if I’d advise against joining the military as things are.

And people should have to take the civics exam every 5 years -- because sometimes people simply mentally decline, and they should no longer be permitted to vote if they are not mentally fit. If I cannot interpret a pie chart, I should not be voting.

I think a drinking age of 18 is fine.

As for who decides the tests? We decide. People already decided on the constitution and the laws we currently live under. The tests are no more ripe for discrimination than general laws are. Yet we vote for them.

I live in Orange County California, and recently we had a vote for primaries, and one of the guys running for a position was Steve Rocco. A convicted ketchup bottle thief that had won a position on the Orange Unified School district board of trustees year ago strictly out of voter incompetence . He constantly runs. Constantly trolls. And gets sometimes thousands of votes. I take his case to be sufficient justification for a test. 


Our country is filled with willfully ignorant, but politically active, people regarding politics, and both parties use those willfully ignorant people to pad their votes. Some people think it’s their duty to just vote. It isn’t. It’s their duty to educate themselves if they wish to vote. And we should have a basic test to demonstrate a very low level of proof that such sufficient education has been achieved. No gotcha questions. Everything expected to be known and all skills expected to have been mastered clearly available. Retake it as many times as a person wants.

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I am somewhat into it. Didn’t really think the last part helped your argument. The idea of somewhat fair civics tests in order to vote might get some buy in. I don’t think making people pick the military in order to vote sooner is ethical— Feels coercive.

I think the optimistic view of testing in order to vote is interesting.

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Democrats will start pushing to lower the voting age to 16. We should do the opposite. Kids are maturing much later. They used to leave the nest at 18 and start families and take care of their own life. Now they are coddled by moms until they are in their mid 20s.

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Don't worry, the GOP will make sure 16b years olds have guns too. Or maybe do worry.

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If you don't think someone who participates in a plot to overthrow our Constitutional order and nullify the results of a Presidential election to maintain power is anti-democratic, you're beyond delusional. Seeking to repair broken structures within our democracy that maintain minoritarian rule only seems "anti-democratic" to those who benefit from such rule.

Oh, and would you like to know why Americans developed such a dependency on federal power? Because for years following the collapse of Reconstruction and all throughout Jim Crow, "state power" enabled white supremacists to oppress, disenfranchise, and brutalize American blacks. It was the federal government that liberated them from enslavement, who granted them rights, and in the end the only ones who would stand up for those rights when the states (especially, but not exclusively, in the American South) brazenly sought to undermine them.

Of course, Republican hypocrites are more than happy to flex federal power when preventing states and localities from enacting sensible gun legislation, or proposing federal bans on abortion, or demanding that states cooperate with federal immigration officials over the objections of local police departments, or wanting Congress to force states to overrule their Presidential election results, etc.

Wait, that last one bears repeating, in something I rarely indulge - all caps:


Again, if you honestly don't see this as the biggest threat to democracy any of us have seen in our lifetimes (especially when paired with follow up efforts to intimidate state election officials and install 2020 election deniers in key positions of power over state elections), you're more than a "social misfit" - you're either a completely unserious person, or a downright sociopath. Just like Trump.

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Seems to me the Democrats are doing everything in their power to get a Republican elected in 2024.

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“1) Trump is Anti-Democratic”

The more I read articles like this, my likelihood of preferring to vote for Trump over a Democratic candidate increases. I voted for Jorgensen in 2020, but only because I could convince my mom who was going to vote for Biden to also vote for her. If I could not convince a likely Biden voter to vote for Jorgensen, I’d have voted for Trump. At this moment in time, I’d do the same thing in 2024. And this article only increases that likelihood. Why?

Because loyal Democrats such as this author clearly are delusional or simply intellectually dishonest. Either they are delusional or lying to me. And I don’t like the fact that prominent Democratic writers are delusional or lying to me. Of course I don’t like the Democratic Party lying to me, but that is expected. What is troubling though is that it seems influential Democratic voters are absolutely convinced that the Democratic Party is the party of democracy. Even though the party argued in court that democracy doesn’t matter in their own primaries. See here:


The Democratic Party doesn’t care about democracy. They stated that in court. Let me repeat, the Democratic Party doesn’t care about democracy. It should change its name to the Demagogic Party. Because it’s concern for democracy is a lie just to please the ears of people like the author.

This is obvious. Please stop writing that democracy must be saved by the Democratic Party. It’s either ignorant or a lie.

The thing is, I think Trump is a bucket of piss. Right now though, I think that Biden is a bucket of shit, and the only Democratic candidate I think is less repulsive than a bucket of piss is Tulsi Gabbard. But since it is likely that any candidate who isn’t a bucket of shit is going to have their primaries rigged against them(declared so in court by the dnc) I suspect that I will be coerced into voting between a bucket of piss and a bucket of shit, again. And which case I will choose a bucket of piss and try to convince someone who prefers the bucket of shit to vote for someone else together.

Why anyone has a favorable attitude toward either party, such as this author, is bewildering. Both are garbage, and if a person has any loyalty to either their souls are poisoned. I wish I knew the antidote.

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In 2016 (and 2008) their whole strategy was, force Clinton on the electorate and label as misogynist anyone who doesn't get on board. In 2020 the plan was backroom shenanigans to rig the election against Sanders. As Mounk briefly alludes to here, we can already see the shape of the 2024 plan - force Harris on the electorate and label as misogynist and racist anyone who doesn't get on board. The Democratic Party establishment is just as hostile to real democracy as Trump is, they are just better at disguising it.

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At this rate, misogynist and racist are losing their power because they are so misused.

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I have traditionally voted Democratic and have loathed Trump since he was a reality TV presence. He is toxic as a leader and human. Character counts but so does electability. Here is my left coast Seattle bubble, few will acknowledge the reality of many American voters, who are aligned with Trump. Hopefully the current hearings will impact many of his supporters. I am flummoxed by the absence of rejection of Trump among the majority of GOP electeds and hope this will change.

As an American, I want to see a Republican slate of candidates that one could consider voting for rather than against, Liz Cheney impresses but the Trumpists hate her. One can hope. Pence seems obvious and the buzz about Desantis is real and for me a bit scary.

On the Democratic side, Harris if running today would be unelectable if there was a reasonable Republican candidate. I am in a watch and wait mode. Both sides take positions that offend. The GOP on abortion and guns. The Dems on immigration and general wokeness. Hoping to be enthused about a set of candidates and wonder if this could be the first time I vote Republican. If the choice was Trump or a clone of him, not a chance.

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I know Persuasion does not get the readership that other, more sensational Substack newsletters get, but this essay should be a must read for anyone paying attention to politics. The People of the Lie have taken over the Republican party and the Stupids have come to dominate the Democratic party. The Stupids must get smarter about enrolling more people with a moderate position in order to win more elections. The People of the Lie will ultimately cause a serious backlash that could look like the 1960s again.

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Yes, and joining NoLabels.org is a strong way to support moderate D's (and R's) who care enough about actually governing that they are willing to work together. Thus, many voices heard and respected.-, which is, to me, the backbone of American Representative Democracy.

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Biden was sold as a moderate but what's coming out of is administration might as well be from the Oberlin College student council.

In terms of immigration, the United States now has open borders with Mexico. And a huge number of people within the US, especially in government, cheering it on.

Now tell us, How is it that no one was held responsible for the catastrophe of Iraq. Tell us about how Eric Holder, Obama's attorney general, declared the banks at the heart of the Financial Crisis to be "systemically important" and no one, yet again, was responsible for a crisis that has and continues to financially immiserate tens of millions of American. (BTW, aren't many of those banks and financial institutions which he spared criminal punishment now among Holder's firm's clients?)

How is it that the very destructive riots of 2020 have gone largely unexamined and largely euphemized?

But yes, the new meme, "OUR DEMOCRACY", swamps all. Yet in the meantime, rich foundations, NGOs, non-profits, university endowments, etc, act to dilute the power of people's votes.

The danger of Trump is not what he did. But that during his terms there were no new wars, no financial crisis, and people prospered more. And yes, he is a deranged autocrat.

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We do not have Open Borders--that is Fake News!

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How many people have gone over the southern border in the last 2 years without proper documentation?

Whether by official policy or not, the border US/Mexican border is de facto open.

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For many reason the number of people trying to cross the borders keeps increasing. However:

CBP Releases April 2022 Monthly Operational Update

Release Date

Tue, 05/17/2022 - 12:00

WASHINGTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) today released operational statistics for April 2022, which can be viewed online here.

“CBP continues to enforce the CDC’s Title 42 Public Health Order in addition to the agency’s long-standing Title 8 authorities. When the CDC’s Title 42 Public Health Order is terminated, CBP will once again impose consequences for all unlawful entries by fully exercising its Title 8 authorities, as it used to long before the COVID-19 pandemic,” said CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus. “The fact is that our borders are not open, and we will continue to remove those who enter our country unlawfully and have no legal basis to stay. While we will likely see an increase in encounters after the CDC’s Title 42 public health Order ends, I have a great degree of confidence that the dedicated men and women of CBP and our multiple agency partners will meet this challenge. After many months of planning, we are executing a comprehensive strategy to safely, orderly, and humanely manage our borders. CBP is surging personnel and resources to the border, increasing processing capacity, securing more ground and air transportation, and increasing medical supplies, food, water, and other resources to ensure a humane environment for those being processed, screened, and vetted.”

CBP Southwest Border Enforcement Numbers for April 2022

Since many people expelled into Mexico under Title 42 try to reenter the U.S., Title 42 has contributed to a higher-than-usual number of migrants making multiple border crossing attempts, which means that total encounters somewhat overstate the number of unique individuals arriving at the border.

The number of unique encounters nationwide in April 2022 was 157,555, a 2% decrease in the number of unique enforcement encounters compared to the prior month.

There were 201,800 encounters by U.S. Border Patrol agents along the southwest land border in April, a 4 percent decrease compared to March.

An additional 32,288 encounters occurred by Office of Field Operations officers at a port of entry, an increase of 183 percent compared to March. This is attributed to the high number of Ukrainians processed at southwest border ports of entry. Of the 234,088 total encounters, 28 percent involved individuals who had at least one prior encounter in the previous 12 months, compared to an average one-year re-encounter rate of 15 percent for FY2014-2019.

71 percent of all southwest land border encounters were single adults, with 166,814 encounters in April, which represents a 2 percent decrease compared to March.

96,908 encounters (41 percent of total monthly encounters) were processed for expulsion under Title 42. 137,180 encounters were processed under Title 8.

89,642 encounters involving single adults (54 percent of all single adult encounters) were processed for expulsion under Title 42, with 77,172 processed under Title 8.

7,058 encounters involving family unit individuals (13 percent of all family unit individuals) were processed for expulsion under Title 42, with 47,715 processed under Title 8.

Unaccompanied Children

Encounters of unaccompanied children decreased 14 percent, with 12,221 encounters in April compared with 14,143 in March. In April, the average number of unaccompanied children in CBP custody was 478 per day, compared with an average of 582 per day in March.

Family Unit individuals

Encounters of family unit individuals increased by 45 percent from 37,882 in March to 54,773 in April, which is a 37 percent decrease from the peak of 86,631 in August 2021.

CBP Nationwide Total Encounters for FY22TD through April: 1,478,977

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Thank you. So, de facto open borders.

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While I agree with almost everything said in the column, I also have hopes that the Jan 6 committee is influencing enough of the public (and, hence, politicians) to turn the Trumpian/authoritarian tide. Maybe I'm being foolish, but there still could be enough time to influence the outcome of this year's elections and produce better presidential candidates for 2024.

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Amen, thanks

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Eh. I suspect Biden will step aside and instead of Harris a new candidate will emerge. Until Biden none of the previous three Democratic presidents -- Obama, Clinton, Carter -- were especially well known or seen as front runners more than two years before the election.

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Meanwhile Biden on his European flop trip says high gas prices are necessary to protect the "future of the liberal world order."

Did you hear it? If you did, were you surprised? Where you outraged? Or did it confirm what you already knew and strengthen your resolve to get the real disaster of Biden Democrat control out of power? Or did you just dig your head more into the Jan-6 narrative in hope that Biden does not spill any more beans about that Liberal New Order future you desire in the expectation it will better fill your bank account?

In any case these articles demonstrating Trump "disaster" fear are a hoot given the real destruction being forced on the country by the Biden Democrats.

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One, it was Biden adviser, not Biden. Two, no one said 'liberal new order'. Three , look up the meaning of liberalism and 'liberal world order' from its start through the 20th century. Hint, there is a relation to the word "neoliberal". Your outrage is either performative -- i.e. fake, cynical -- or else based on ignorance and misunderstanding.

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Advisors speak for the President.

You try to remove the context of “world” being used in the statement. Nice try.

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Stop being obtuse. 'Liberal world order' doesn't mean the scary thing you think it does. Learn some history. And *you* made up "Liberal New Order". Probably, because right wing kooks have been babbling 'new world order' conspiracies since the 1990s

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Nutty conspiracist links to right-wing Christian college essay about 'the Great Reset' -- words no Biden admin has used -- which in common use is a racist fantasy about brown (and Jewish somehow always included) people replacing 'white' people, but in this nutty essay from a right wing Christian college it's *really* about anticapitalist, 'corporate socialism' economics somehow linked to COVID taking over the word, because, you know *the World Economic Forum* actually runs the world.

Classic, just classic.

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Jul 2, 2022·edited Jul 2, 2022

A centrist third party with a federalist bent, begun by a popular celebrity - that's the route I like. We're like kids stuck with two bad parents. Let's just leave the house. If the candidate could win the presidency the party could establish itself as legitimate going forward. If that party could win as little as 15% at other levels in years to come, it could moderate the extremes of left and right.

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Yascha, please describe the compromises you believe Manchin and Sinema would finally agree to. They've move the goalposts enough to make it hard to believe that any exist.

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The TDS is strong with this one.

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Yascha I agree with you almost 100% And I really appreciate your understanding of the lost opportunities from " the White House seemed to rely on public pressure to bring reluctant Senators in line, failing either to negotiate with them on a good faith basis or to pursue compromise bills they proposed." However, the Bipartisan Infrastructure bill did pass, which is a MAJOR achievement and Biden received much praise, internationally and nationally, for his management and leadership re: Nato & Ukraine. I do trust Biden's 79 year old brain more that Trump's severe ADHD brain

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Trump's problem isn't ADHD -- it's Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

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But Biden had little to nothing to do with the bill. All credit goes to Manchin for that. When Biden tried to link the bipartisan bill to BBB, he lost any ability to claim credit for it. At that point he was a hindrance to getting the bill into law

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Rnc needs to step up and not allow him on even the primary ballots. The dem led hearings are doing the yowmen’s work republicans should have done on jan7th. The turtle hinted at this in his speech after certification but backed off

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Your diagnosis is compelling. Unfortunately, your suggested treatment falls far short of what is needed to succeed. i do not have the answers, either. But the fault is not in the stars, it is in the soul of the democratic party, I am sorry to say.

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I forgot to mention the new worry about state legislatures influencing their electoral college votes.

Yes the House is representative but it does not confirm judges.

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