Does either party actually believe democracy is dying?

Both parties insist American democracy is in peril. So why aren’t they doing more to save it?

The Constitution in flames.
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock, Wikimedia Commons)

If you sincerely believed the Constitution was being demolished by domestic enemies in an unprecedented way, if you really thought representative government was slipping from your nation's grasp, if you were actually convinced a partisan cabal was destroying democracy, wouldn't protecting it be your political priority? Republicans and Democrats alike have spent the better part of a year describing our circumstances in exactly such dire terms, but they seem strangely unconcerned with pursuing a remedy.

For example: Asked in a CBS/YouGov poll this month whether they believe Joe Biden is "the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election," two in three Republicans said "no." In fact, a little over half of Republicans say former President Donald Trump is the "true president" of the United States at this very moment, per a Reuters/Ipsos survey published Monday. They think the election was "stolen" from Trump and that Biden's inauguration is the result of "illegal voting," Reuters reports.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us
Bonnie Kristian

Bonnie Kristian was a deputy editor and acting editor-in-chief of She is a columnist at Christianity Today and author of Untrustworthy: The Knowledge Crisis Breaking Our Brains, Polluting Our Politics, and Corrupting Christian Community (forthcoming 2022) and A Flexible Faith: Rethinking What It Means to Follow Jesus Today (2018). Her writing has also appeared at Time Magazine, CNN, USA Today, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, and The American Conservative, among other outlets.