Things aren’t looking too great for democracy in the United States, warns journalist and historian Anne Applebaum. The Atlantic writer and author of Twilight of Democracy has mapped out what the end of democracy looks like, including what she calls “the slow decline of institutions.” Those institutions—“the judiciary, the media, the civil service, all kinds of guardrails that are put around democracy”—are now falling into disrepair, she tells Molly Jong-Fast on this episode of The New Abnormal.
The question is, what will it take to stop the collapse? Applebaum says based on other countries that have risen from fascist ashes, it takes people within the party to stand up. She throws a name out: Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY).
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“People can not like them for other reasons, but you have to really admire, in particular, Liz Cheney, who’s taken a huge amount of flak given who her family is and where she comes from and so on. And yet she now sees it as her mission is to reverse this trend inside the party,” she says.
There’s also Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who Applebaum makes a compelling argument for being the one who could possibly turn this all around.
Then Siva Vaidhyanathan, host of the Democracy in Danger podcast, joins the show and looks at other countries like Myanmar and Hungary to try and figure out along with Molly why Republicans think what’s happening there is a good thing.
Finally! Frank Vogl, author of The Enablers: How the West Supports Kleptocrats and Corruption, puts the rich and corrupt under a microscope, calling out their schemes and favorite money-stashing hiding spots. That leads to two big questions: Is Vladimir Putin hiding his dirty money in art or real estate? And will Congress’ new counter-kleptocratacy caucus stop corruption in its tracks?
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