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Jonathan Bernstein

Only Republicans Can Rescue American Democracy

GOP stalwarts like Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell stood up for the republic in 2020. They’ll need to do so again this week.

Democracy hinges on Republicans like Mike Pence.

Democracy hinges on Republicans like Mike Pence.

Photographer: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

How worried should we be about the fate of US democracy? The party that might gain control of Congress after this week’s election has nominated hundreds of candidates in state, local and national races who falsely claim the 2020 election was fraudulent; uses extreme rhetoric that inspires violence; and has a de facto leader who doesn’t hesitate to undermine the rule of law. The threat to the republic from the Republican Party is very real.

Political scientists say the US is confronting events abnormal in a democracy While the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol was an especially prominent and terrifying example, there are myriad disturbing gestures every day.