Dylan Matthews: No, America’s Peaceful Transitions of Power are Not Special

tags: WaPo, Dylan Matthews, transition of power



Dylan Matthews covers taxes, poverty, campaign finance, higher education, and all things data for the Washington Post. He has also written for The New Republic, Salon, Slate, and The American Prospect. Follow him on Twitter here. Email him here.

One of the strangest features of the inauguration was various politicians’ boasting of the U.S.’s long run of peaceful, democratic transitions. “We do this in a peaceful, orderly way,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said in his introduction. “There is no mob, no coup, no insurrection. This is a moment when millions stop and watch. A moment most of us always will remember. A moment that is the most conspicuous and enduring symbol of our democracy.”

Not to rain on everybody’s parade, but this is just about the least special feature of American democracy. You know who else has regular, peaceful transitions of power? Lots of countries....




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