Are we witnessing the fall of the United States?

Over the past four years, it’s become something of a cliché for certain political scientists on Twitter to respond to stories of Donald Trump’s corruption, ineptitude, malice, and autocratic impulses by asking a provocative leading question: “What would you say if you saw it happening in another country?”

Unfortunately, occasions for posing and answering this question by referring to democratic backsliding or burgeoning authoritarianism have accelerated since the start of the Trump administration, with the number rising in an especially steep crescendo over the past couple of months. Viewed from the outside, the United States looks today like a great power in decline — with its political system buckling,



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