Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld – Trump Is Taking Us Closer to Becoming a Banana Republic



On Wednesday Ian spoke with Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld, a senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who focuses on governance in post-conflict countries and fragile and failing states. Together, they assessed how far the Trump Administration is taking us on the path towards America becoming a banana republic as the telltale signs of a failing state abound with an egomaniacal leader and his rapacious family greedily feathering their nest while undermining democratic institutions and attacking the free press.


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More from Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld

The killing of Jordan Edwards this week should yield outrage. It should also serve as a wake-up to the rest of America. I’m finishing a book on countries that recovered from pervasive violence. While war makes the headlines, citizen-on-citizen violence, ranging from all to common homicide to insurrection and Boko Haram-like groups, kill four times as many people as wars today. Two factors serve as major catalysts for this kind of violence: Repressive policing, and a failure to police at all. The United States is teetering on the edge of both mistakes.

We’ve been here before. In 1971, New York City’s police shot someone every four days. The era’s repressive policing, in which Southern police sometimes relied on the Klan for dirty work while the National Guard was called out to quell riots and protests in the North, contributed to the spiraling bloodshed of that time. Horrible as today’s police shootings are, they have nothing on a year in which New York City alone would have accounted for a tenth of all police killings in the nation today.

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