The Atlantic

How Donald Trump Is Reviving American Democracy

The president has energized his own supporters, and his attacks on established institutions have triggered a systemic immune response in the body politic.
Source: Dominick Reuter / Reuters

There are two ways to look at the effect of Donald Trump’s presidency on American democracy. One is that he is a menace to the republic: that his attacks on journalists, federal judges, and constitutional norms undermine the rule of law. The other is that he is the greatest thing to happen to America’s civic and political ecosystem in decades.

These views are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are causally related. The president’s attacks on established institutions have triggered a systemic immune response in

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