The Toughest Death of 2016: the Democratic Norms That (Used to) Guide Our Political System

This past year—2016—has brought us more than a typical year’s share of notable deaths. …

But the most devastating death in the United States, the one that will be affecting us the most in the years to come, is that of the democratic norms that guide our political system.

Norms are what really keep a democratic system running. Good constitutional design is obviously important, but it doesn’t ensure a thriving or stable liberal democracy. The American presidential system has been replicated in many other nations, particularly in Latin America, with far less successful results, in large part due to different norms about what is and isn’t acceptable. CONT.

Seth Masket (U. of Denver), Pacific Standard