Outside the Box: Democracy in America is not guaranteed under Trump

When I was younger, I thought of the checks and balances of the U.S. constitutional system as something like a law of nature. It was impossible for me to imagine that these safeguards of democracy could fail; they were unchanging and automatic, and would always be there to protect Americans against an internal authoritarian threat.

That is a dangerous illusion. The Constitution and the rule of law itself are human inventions that depend on Americans in order to function properly, regardless of who is president and which political party is in power. Checks and balances are not self-enforcing. A Constitution that looks great on paper is only effective if elected officials, voters, and the media make its promises a reality.

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