The economy and inflation are among the top issues bringing voters to the polls for the Nov. 8 midterm election amid a debate on whether democracy is in danger. Clark Political science Professor Robert Boatright examines a link between polarization in Congress today and the political conflict of the late 19th century.
“That’s an era where the country is almost evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, and we see some of the same problems we have now: Contested elections, arguments over fraud and elections. Parties start arguing about democracy itself at the same time,” he says.
“The striking thing about it is we solved that problem with the election of Theodore Roosevelt and the rise of the progressive movement … I don’t know that it’s likely to happen anytime soon, but American history suggests that we do have a precedent for solving problems like what we see today.”