January 28 - Could American Democracy Die?; Russians Demonstrate Against the Lack of Electoral Choice; Could Ramped-Up Taliban Attacks Render America's Investment in Our Longest War Futile?

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Part 1

We begin with an analysis of the state of American democracy and the durability of our democratic institutions which are under attack by President Trump. Added to this, the traditional checks and balances provided by the constitution’s separation of powers no longer function because the Republicans in Congress are enabling Trump rather than curbing his abuse of power. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, both Professors of Government at Harvard University, join us to discuss their new book “How Democracies Die” and their article at the New York Times “How Wobbly is Our Democracy?” We examine how durable our democracy is with rising political polarization in America that is racial and cultural and assess the global retreat of democracy and the rise of authoritarian regimes as democracies in Turkey, The Philippines, Hungary and Poland are under attack from the right while democracy in Venezuela and Bolivia is under attack from the left.    

Steve Levitsky

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Part 2

Then we speak with Ambassador Steven Pifer, who was U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and special assistant to the president and senior director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia on the National Security Council. We discuss the demonstrations today across Russia against the lack of choice in the upcoming elections and Putin’s latest move to silence the pro-democracy campaigner Aleksei Navalny.

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Part 3

Then finally we look into the latest Taliban atrocity in Afghanistan with a suicide bomber using an ambulance as a bomb killing 95 civilians, this following a recent slaughter at a hotel in Kabul and the murder of Save the Children aid workers in Jalalabad. Christine Fair, a former U.N. Political Officer in Afghanistan who is a Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor in the Security Studies Program within Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, joins us. We discuss her latest article at The Atlantic “Pakistan Will Try to Make Trump Pay” and the ramped-up attacks on Afghanistan’s divided government which threatens to render America’s investment is our longest war futile.

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