This Article is set amidst the distinctly unsettled and unsettling state of governmental practices, legislative policy, and presidential politics of contemporary America. Immediacy, too, introduces its own uncertainty—as compared to the comfortable vantage point of the distant future. But, as I shall argue, there is no realistic alternative to beginning in medias res. To address these issues as they inherently demand, the usual precedents and protocols and precautions must be set aside—if they are not already “gone with the wind.”6 Since the 2016 Presidential Election, and even before, threats to liberal democracy have emerged, in plausible form, as never before inAmerican history. This is largely a tale about the parlous state of “unwritten rules” in a thoroughly politicized polity. Part I traces out two of the most important stages in this development. Liberal democracy depends not only on governmental institutions and officials but, indirectly, on the personal qualities those officials bring to their duties and responsibilities. Nowhere is this more important than at the top of the Executive Branch of government, where personality disorders of the President may take on constitutional significance. “Crazytown”—as it has been called—is thus the subject of Part II.7 Finally, Part III considers the roles of both “Input Controls” and “Output Controls” in protecting liberal democracy against the threat of authoritarian tyranny. For purposes of discussion, a proposed constitutional amendment is introduced and defended. This is an important intellectual exercise, for “without the constant effort to repair and construct liberal institutions of government . . . it is only a matter of time before one or another zealot will seize the chance to impose his private nightmare on the rest of us.”
Collier, Charles W.
"The Unwritten Rules of Liberal Democracy,"
University of Massachusetts Law Review: Vol. 15:
2, Article 2.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.umassd.edu/umlr/vol15/iss2/2