“The founders were well aware of the dangers of populism, demagoguery, and faction. They built a constitutional order designed to force compromise and impede sociopathic behavior. But the institutions they put in place to act as gatekeepers (the Electoral College, the appointed Senate) became obsolete, and the successor gatekeepers (political bosses, smoke-filled rooms, big media) came to seem undemocratic and lost their grip. Today, the road to power for a sociopath or demagogue is comparatively unobstructed. As a result, the fail-safes designed to protect the system when the settings go out of alignment have themselves begun to fail.” (nationalaffairs.com, Rethinking Polarization)

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