Checks and Balances

Despite a pretty good education in and experience of American history and politics, I’ve been surprised recently at the degree of power a President can wield if he’s not ‘checked and balanced’. Over the past two years the US has resembled an elective autocracy, rather than a democracy, with the Executive, Legislative and Judicial arms all being on the same side. Let’s hope, after yesterday’s mid-term elections, that the new balance of parties in the House of Representatives can put that right. A democratically-elected dictatorship can be just as tyrannical – ‘fascist’ – as any other kind. Look at the histories of pre-War Germany and Italy, and of dozens of third-world countries post-War.

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