American democracy might look healthier in light of last week’s midterms, but there’s still a lot of skepticism across the political spectrum about how it’s doing. From the right, would-be authoritarians cast doubt on elections and on the very idea of liberal democracy. But even those who reject this authoritarian impulse are frequently uncomfortable with the messiness of democratic politics, instead preferring an anti-politics of technocratic decision-making.
Jedediah Purdy, a law professor at Duke Law School, wants to defend democracy from its critics and its skeptics. In his new book, “Two Cheers for Politics: Why Democracy Is Flawed, Frightening—and Our Best Hope,” he argues that democratic renewal is both desirable and, most importantly, possible. Lawfare senior editor Alan Rozenshtein sat down with Jed to talk about the book, get his thoughts about the state of American democracy, and chart the path toward a healthier democratic future.