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Sean Carroll

The Future of Democratic Values

7 Nov 2016, 17:05 UTC
The Future of Democratic Values
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Hey, did you know we are having an election here in the United States? I think I saw it mentioned on TV. Whatever your preferences may be, everyone eligible should try to get out and vote.
This election has, without a doubt, been somewhat unique. I’m cautiously optimistic that Hillary Clinton will win, that we will celebrate the election of the first female President in the history of the republic, and that she will do a relatively good job — although as a good Bayesian I know that empirical predictions are never certain, and in an atmosphere like this uncertainty runs relatively high.
Even if Clinton wins and the U.S. avoids complete embarrassment, I’m still very worried about what this election has revealed about the state of the country. No matter who our next President might be, there are real reasons to be concerned that the U.S. is veering away from some of the foundational principles that are necessary to a functioning democracy. That may sound alarmist, but I don’t think it’s unwarranted. Historically, democracies don’t always last forever; we’d be foolish to think that it can’t happen here.
This isn’t a worry about the specific horrible wrongness of ...

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