Four Threats to our Democracy

With Mettler and Lieberman

Join us virtually for a conversation with Professors Mettler and Lieberman about the social trends that have often threatened our democracy.

They have identified four major threats: political polarization, racism and nativism, economic inequality, and excessive executive power. And they have drawn lessons from five serious crises: the 1790s, the Civil War, the Gilded Age, the Depression, and Watergate. Each of these crises could have profoundly―even fatally―damaged the American democratic experiment. But what is most alarming now is that all four threats exist simultaneously―in the midst of a viral pandemic. This convergence could be cause for despair, but history provides valuable lessons about how democracy was eventually strengthened―or weakened―in the past.

By revisiting how earlier generations of Americans faced similar threats to our constitutional principles, we can see more clearly what led us to today, and then chart a path toward repairing our civic fabric and renewing our democracy.