The January 6 commission is a reminder that a peaceful transfer of power is not guaranteed and that democracy is in trouble. But do many understand what democracy really is? In his book Democracy Rules, German historian and political scientist argues three things are crucial for its survival: political parties over populism, a free media and a healthy level of uncertainty.
“I think what's paradoxical about the situation in the U.S., but to some degree it's also true of other democracies, is that high degrees of polarization actually coexist with very weak and hollowed out political parties.”
“Democracy allows us to deal with conflict, ideally also in a productive way. And uncertainty is important because if uncertainty disappears from a public system, you can be pretty sure that you are well on the way to an autocratic system.”
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