We are all familiar with the first American Revolution: an actual war, a rebellion for self-governance. But it was not long after that Thomas Jefferson called the election of 1800 the “second American revolution.” The election of the Democratic-Republicans over the Federalists set the course for the nation in Jefferson’s vision of American democracy, and permanently marginalized the Federalist Party and led to its ultimate replacement by the Whigs.
We will not know until after the 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential election whether the result of 2020 set the nation on a path toward Democratic Party domination for a generation, like the election of 1800. But we think this moment in our nation’s history is best understood as the third American revolution – hopefully primarily of competing ideas and minimally of political violence – where the effective functioning of American elections and democratic institutions hangs in the balance.
It is no longer enough to characterize the present political crisis as an internal party dispute. Instead, we are witness to a political revolution that will define American society and governance for decades to come.
Read the entire piece here.