Topic #1: Biden/Cheney in 2024: Is a Bipartisan Presidential Ticket Necessary to Preserve American Democracy?
According to Harvard political scientist Steven Levitsky, “We are in a terrible situation in which one of two major (political) parties is no longer committed to playing by democratic rules….No other established Western democracy faces such a threat today, not this acutely anyway.” For this reason, Levitsky argues that, in order to attempt to circumvent the anti-democracy movement and have an undisputed presidential election result in 2024, the Democratic and Republican parties should consider running a shared, bipartisan presidential ticket in 2024, something that has never been done in the history of the United States. Obviously, this proposal would generate a lot of heated opposition from officials and loyal members of both parties, especially given current levels of partisan polarization in the United States. Levitsky, however, strongly believes that this unprecedented measure is necessary, asserting that, “A classic dilemma of democracy, going back to the mid-20th century, is how to respond to a political party that uses democracy’s very openness to gain power and attack democracy. One response that has worked in the past in other countries in the 1930s (e.g. Belgium, Finland) that have overcome this dilemma is for broadly small-d democratic parties, even with big ideological differences, to overlook their differences in the short run to contain autocratic leaders or parties. Big coalitions are often necessary in the short run.” Even if Levitsky is correct in his arguments, is such a dramatic change to our presidential elections possible or likely and, if it were to happen, could it create unintended problems for our political system and society?
To begin your analysis of these questions, be sure to read David Leonhardt’s column in the New York Times, “Republicans for Democracy” (Links to an external site.), conduct some additional research (from at least 4 mores sources) and respond to the following prompts:
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