While it's always easy to become obsessed over trivial details, seeing the big picture is more important. It's perhaps useful to realize that the end of representative democracy is occurring not merely in the USA but globally, driven by the same force: populism. As Plato noted more than 2,500 years ago, democracy must always end in tyranny because a great many people are too simple-minded and ignorant to be other than easy dupes for unscrupulous demagogues, who will lie shamelessly to the simple-minded in order to garner their support. Our modern technologies have made it possible for such demagogues to capture hundreds of millions of simple people and, once captured, these people are forever merely obedient drones voting for whatever nonsense their masters babble next. Brexit, Trump (and more largely the GoP), Modi, Bolsonaro, Erdogan, Putin, and so many more are all simply symptoms, not causes. Representative democracy is itself the cause, because it is hopelessly unfit for purpose. Instead of imagining that it can be rescued, we need to imagine better approaches to the problem of self-governance in a modern, complex, and inter-connected world. Unfortunately we aren't doing that, so we'll have to pass through the horrors of tyranny first.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.