U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders is the people's tribune. In a recent appearance before a Senate committee where he spoke about the current assault on democracy, that quality of Sanders was on display. But before I elaborate on his speech, a few general observations on democracy are in order.
Democracy is a contested idea and practice. It was never a gift bestowed on the multitude by the top layers of our society, either at the country's founding or in its subsequent history.
Historically speaking, the boundaries of freedom and democracy have been fluid. Gains in popular democracy secured in one period and thought to be permanent more than once were rolled back in the next period.
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