By Jeffrey C. Isaac
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Few predicted the unlikely ascendancy of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, a development with a huge impact on international relations, trade, environmental policy, and the very possibility of liberal democracy itself. Undoubtedly, the age of Trump is an age of uncertainty, and the months since his inauguration have been indisputably chaotic; even threats of nuclear war have become normalized. #AgainstTrump is a conspectus of our resistance to this normalization.
The authoritarian bent of the president—evident in his dictatorial tweets, his nepotistic family affiliations, and his shady business dealings before and after his inauguration—pose a singular threat to liberal democracy in the West. And those of us committed to democratic values, truth, and human rights, feel compelled to resist. And yet the fight against Trump is hardly a united front.
Jeffrey C. Isaac, professor of political science at Indiana University, argues that the threat posed to liberal democracy by illiberal forces today, from Trump and his authoritarian counterparts in France, Hungary, Poland, and Turkey, warrants a strong democratic response, centered on both defending and extending the core commitments of liberal democracy. In this book, a collection of essays written shortly before and after Trump came to power, Isaac articulates a politics that bridges the gap between liberalism and leftism, pointing the way towards more productive disagreements and the need for meaningful effective alliances.
To acknowledge the challenges of globalization, to confront fear of the foreign and the foreigner, and to defend the deep meaning of words and the possibility of truth: that is to be for liberal democracy and #AgainstTrump.