Democracy and the Left: Rana Responds to New York Magazine's Jonathan Chait

By Aziz RanaI tend to avoid social media, but felt compelled to respond in some way to Jonathan Chait's short essay in New York Magazine accusing Jedediah Purdy and me of being part of an illiberal or authoritarian left, unconcerned with Trump and suspicious of American democracy wholesale. To begin with, this characterization is clearly wrong about both the substance of Jed's work over many years and his own personal political engagements since Trump appeared on the stage. As for me, Chait seems to misunderstand the nature of my arguments in "Goodbye, Cold War," the N+1 essay he references.My argument is precisely that the only way to overcome the rise of a virulent and dangerous right in the U.S., embodied by Trump, is through an organized and mass political campaign on behalf of *democracy,* in a way that mirrors the great labor, feminist, black, and indigenous freedom struggles of the past. Crucially, this campaign cannot simply be about going back to…

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