Thursday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 49. Sunrise is 7:07 AM and sunset 4:21 PM for 9h 13m 28s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 4.8% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1804, at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Napoleon Bonaparte crowns himself Emperor of the French.
Jennifer Rubin interviews Garry Kasparov in Q&A with Garry Kasparov: How foreign dissidents can help renew U.S. democracy:
Rubin: Why did RDI [Renew Democracy Initiative, a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization] believe the experience of foreign dissidents could help promote American democracy?
Kasparov: Foreign dissidents benefit from two things Americans by and large lack: personal experience resisting authoritarianism, and the ability to look past partisan politics and see threats to democracy for what they are. In some ways, you can call them the global experts on how authoritarian tendencies spread through society and how democratic institutions crumble. We’d be crazy not to consult them.
They can’t be accused of having a dog in the partisan fight. They have nothing to gain and, if American democracy falls, everything to lose. Most importantly, they want to help Americans see the U.S. through their eyes. During the darkest days of their struggles, American democracy often inspired them. RDI launched Frontlines of Freedom in the hopes that their stories might now inspire us.
Rubin: To what degree is the United States’ current situation a reflection of worldwide trends, and to what extent is it uniquely American?
Kasparov: From 1990 to 2008, the world experienced one of the greatest increases in prosperity and freedom that it’s ever known. However, during that time period, democratic nations assumed that liberal democracy had essentially won the narrative war and failed to make a case for it. Needless to say, history did not end because evil does not die. It might stay dormant under the rubble of the Berlin Wall for a while, but inevitably, it will reemerge. Meanwhile, because most free nations did not offer a sufficiently strong defense of democratic values on their own merits, many people supported democracy only so long as it brought economic prosperity. As soon as the financial crisis hit in 2008, everything changed.
Kasparov identifies, rightly, the significance of the financial crisis (the financial crisis was cause to the Great Recession’s effect).
It is from the Great Recession that maladies new or exacerbated afflicted communities across America, including small towns like Whitewater: stagnation and poverty, a drug crisis intensified, malaise, nativism, a rejection of expertise, claims of false expertise, and a taste for autocratic solutions that has become a chronic hunger.
The Great Recession formally lasted from 2007-2009, but policymakers (especially local ones across America) carried on as though it had not happened or as though it quickly ended.
For many of these rural places, the Great Recession never truly ended.
Boosterism, officials’ ideology of choice, didn’t end the maladies of these communities — it merely papered them over.
What began as an economic problem has become more and worse.