Peaceful transition of power = low bar

Loved this great take from Frum:

Every presidency is different, but inaugural coverage is always the same. Commentators congratulate Americans on the peaceful transition of power and intone solemn sentences about democratic renewal.

There is something unnerving about these reassurances, something overstated, even hysterical. When a British prime minister loses the confidence of the House of Commons and must suddenly trundle out of 10 Downing Street (as some six dozen of them have done since the job was invented in the 1740s; a few more than once), nobody marvels on television how wonderful it is that he or she doesn’t try to retain power by force of arms. Nobody in Denmark thinks it extraordinary when one party relinquishes power to another. Ditto New Zealand or Switzerland—all of them treat peaceful transfers of power as the developed world norm, like reliable electricity or potable water.

Americans so insistently celebrate the peaceful transfer of power precisely because they nervously recognize the susceptibility of their polity to violence…

The message will be stated and restated this day: For the 58th time, the system has worked, and power has smoothly transferred from one heir of George Washington to another. The truth is not so happy. With full advance notice, and despite the failure to gain a plurality of the nation’s vote, the United States will soon inaugurate someone who owes his office in some large part to a hostile foreign intelligence operation. Who is, above and beyond that, a person whose character that leaves him unqualified to hold the presidency, and threatens the country with an impending sequence of financial and espionage scandals—a constitutional crisis on two legs.

The real message of today is that the system has failed. The challenge of the morrow is to know what to do to save the remainder. [emphasis mine]

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

One Response to Peaceful transition of power = low bar

  1. R. Jenrette says:

    One reform would be to accept Washington, D.C. as a state. The citizens are deprived of any voice in their own government. Taxation and regulation without representation.
    D.C.’s population in 2015 was 672,228 and it is said to be growing. Wyoming’s population is
    587,710 in 2016. (world population review)
    Statehood for D.C. would give a voice to an important urban area that has long wanted to govern itself as any state would. D.C.s citizens need to be full citizens of the USA.
    The Electoral College proportionate awarding of votes needs to be revisited and made more representative of the overall population of the U.S. Or it needs to be abolished.

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