CoastLine: Violence in American democracy and its long-term relative impotence
America was born out of violence in a battle against taxation without representation. After winning a bloody eight-year war against Great Britain, Americans created the first modern constitutional democracy. Ratified in 1788, the United States Constitution set up a system that relied on self-government through democratic elections – theoretically, anyway, rendering violence unnecessary. But getting there included repeated violence, even terrorism, and that ideal has not held up – as we see from Shay’s Rebellion, the Whiskey Rebellion, the Civil War, even Wilmington’s own 1898 coup d’etat. Most recently, we witnessed the insurrection of January 6, 2021 – in an attempt to halt the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential election victory.
What is the role of violence in democracy? What are the means for ousting a government that becomes corrupt or oppressive? Which forms of protest actually create change?
Find the podcast on Spotify, Stitcher, Apple podcasts