Op-Ed for The Virginian-Pilot on democracy and authoritarianism in a time of emergency

I wrote an op-ed for The Virginian-Pilot on democracy and authoritarianism in a time of emergency - in this instance, the emergency occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic. It is part of the "Democracy and Pandemic" series, sponsored by the Democracy Initiative at UVA. With the election tomorrow, it is fitting to quote the final two paragraphs of the piece: 

"This underscores the importance of electing leaders who are intelligent, honorable and trustworthy, or who are at least competent. One of the many reasons Donald Trump’s election alarmed so many people is that he seemed to lack even the basic qualifications to hold elected office, let alone the highest office of the land. He seemed, and has since proven to be, fundamentally incapable of governing the United States. 

A sort of nihilism animated some of Trump’s supporters in 2016 — the system isn’t working, so let’s blow it up — and the pandemic has laid bare the recklessness of this way of thinking. Hopefully the country, now grieving 227,000 of its citizens, has learned its lesson."


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