A Chance to Repair the Cracks in Our Democracy
Joseph Stiglitz | New York Times | December 8, 2020
This is an article from Turning Points, a special section that explores what critical moments from this year might mean for the year ahead.
Turning Point: Amid a worsening pandemic, a record number of voters in the United States elected Joseph R. Biden Jr. president, marking an end to the administration of Donald J. Trump. But President Trump had refused to commit himself to a peaceful transfer of presidential power even before he lost his bid for re-election.
Like many of my fellow Americans, I was aghast when President Trump refused to commit himself to a peaceful transfer of presidential power if he were to lose in the Nov. 3 election. And he revealed this in October, while consistently trailing the eventual victor, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., in the polls.
Then, to make matters worse, Senator Mike Lee of Utah, a Republican who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, followed that up with this tweet: “Democracy isn’t the objective; liberty, peace, and prosperity are. We want the human condition to flourish. Rank democracy can thwart that.” Rank democracy? The only saving grace for such a pronouncement is that, at last, a Republican politician was being honest about his or her intentions, and this could well be a turning point in the narrative of our country and our national discourse.