Thursday, November 24, 2016

Renaissance History on Fifth Avenue

Cosimo, by Jacopo Pontormo

Linda McQuaig in The Star today expresses astonishment at the American consensus that the United States is the "greatest democracy on earth" as if gerrymandering, voter suppression, a wildly disproportionate Senate, a politicized judiciary, the electoral college, and presidents more or less above the law -- plus racial discrimination and the heritage of slavery, her particular point -- were not disqualifying factors.

Crooked Timber offers a helpful perspective from history, collating links to posts that observe how much the behaviour of a new president-elect resembles that of Cosimo de Medici:
Mr. Trump loves the tension and drama of a selection process, and has sought to stoke it. A senior adviser described the meeting, in part, as Mr. Romney simply coming to pay his respects to the president-elect and “kiss his ring.”
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