Liberal democracy's Achilles Heel

How do you save a democracy from its own citizens?

A foot.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images, iStock)

Critics of liberal democracy have long accused it of being weak, more like a debating society obsessed with the fairness of its own rules than a vital force that can defend itself and triumph over hostile forms of politics and ways of life.

The historical record on this is mixed. On the positive side, liberal governments have an impressive track record against external enemies. France fell to Hitler's onslaught in 1940, but Great Britain stood its ground, and the United States worked in tandem with the Soviet Union to bring Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan to their knees. The Western powers, led by the U.S., then stood toe to toe against the Soviets and their allies for decades and ultimately prevailed.

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