Racism and racial conflict are always there, always a powerful and important part of American politics. But when they combine with polarization, with this kind of partisan antagonism, and when that becomes the dividing line between the parties, that's really dangerous. That's what happened
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Racism and racial conflict are always there, always a powerful and important part of American politics. But when they combine with polarization, with this kind of partisan antagonism, and when that becomes the dividing line between the parties, that's really dangerous. That's what happened in the 1850s. It led to civil war. That's what happened in the 1890s. It led to violent conflict and mass disenfranchisement. And it's happening again today.Robert C. LiebermanA full transcript is available at www.democracyparadox.com.Key Highlights IncludeAn account of the 1898 insurrection in Wilmington, North Carolina.Is polarization the fault of both sides or is one party responsible?How the election of 1896 affected American democracy.How polarization, conflicts over who belongs, rising economic inequality, and executive aggrandizement interact to threaten democracy in the United States.Does the preservation of democracy really require democratic backsliding?Robert Lieberman is a professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University and coauthored Four Threats: The Recurring Crises of American Democracy with Suzanne Mettler.Key LinksFour Threats: The Recurring Crises of American Democracy by Robert C. Lieberman and Suzanne Mettler"Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation" by John Lewis in The New York TimesFollow Rob Lieberman on Twitter @r_liebermanRelated ContentDerek W. Black Says Public Education Represents the Idea of America... Not its RealityJacob Hacker and Paul Pierson on the Plutocratic Populism of the Republican PartyMore from the PodcastMore InformationDemocracy GroupApes of the State created all MusicThe Science of PoliticsEmail the show at email@example.comFollow me on Twitter @DemParadox100 Books on Democracy