The most depressing issue of a magazine I’ve ever read

This year I decided to go retro and make my four magazine subscriptions of the dead-tree variety. I find I read more consistently and with less distraction (no links!) if I have a hard copy in front of me to read, usually while I am sitting at table eating.

One of those four magazines is The New Republic (TNR). The writing is often not as stellar as it once was at that storied publication, but at least Andrew Sullivan and his cast of received-wisdom clowns are no longer there.

TNR has a special issue out called DEMOCRACY IN PERIL.

As the editors describe it:

This special issue of The New Republic examines the current condition of democracy in the United States and around the world, fingering the culprits and asking what can be done to save it. Every article in this issue, from this editorial into the front of the book and then the feature well and right through to the book reviews, takes on some aspect of our democracy problem. With essays by some of our leading thinkers on these matters and reported pieces by our staffers, as well as our exclusive democracy poll that asked respondents some questions that pollsters never ask Americans, this issue boldly lays out the nature of the challenge we face.

The issue itself is pretty good because it brings into one place, in many articles, all the fright and weirdness of the conservative ecosystem that may well spell the end of American democracy as we know it. The issue is so well done in fact that I could only read part of it. It’s so overwhelming to consume in one place the dark places we’ve been, and all the reasons we are likely going places darker than we’ve been, as a country, in a very long time.

I’ll keep the issue and read it in dribs and drabs.

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