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Democrats Must Finally Play Hardball

16 9 14
25.09.2020

BERLIN – Around the world, right-wing populists are hollowing out democracy and the rule of law. But unlike many twentieth-century dictators, today’s aspiring authoritarians have tried to preserve the façade of the institutions they are destroying, which creates a dilemma for opposition parties. Should they play by the rules of a game that is rigged against them, or should they start writing their own rules and risk accusations of being liberal democracy’s real gravediggers?

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    The conventional wisdom has been that violating norms simply accelerates the destruction of democracy. But constitutional hardball is appropriate under specific circumstances. When autocratic legalists use the letter of the law to violate the spirit of democratic institutions, their opponents should do the opposite.

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