June 1, 2009

Democracy is never fully achieved. At best, it’s an ambition, a state of becoming. In America, it took generations for blacks, women, and gays and lesbians to win the rights of citizenship—rights that, in many instances, remain incomplete. (Various contenders for the Presidency are now competing to scale back such rights.) The twenty-first century began with a fraudulent Presidential election. And this is in the luckiest of nations. Elsewhere—in Russia, in Hungary, in Zimbabwe—the fragility of democratic aspiration is a brutal fact of history.

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