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trump will not end democracy. In fact, Democracy will be strengthened by his strongman posturing. While Trump disses the most advanced form of government we have, it is getting a 21st-century makeover. When I worked at the UN, the biggest secret was the ongoing spread of democracy. Dictators get the press. Good things unfold. That's how progress works.

Today's NY Times contains an excellent piece by one of democracy's great champions. Despite its discouraging headline, the message is one of profound hope. The brutality of Trump's unbridled power is being met by a huge upsurge in conscious, individual awareness. We are the people who make the world according to our lights. Donald Trump is not our leader. We are led by wonderful values that are free for the taking. Tolerance, helpfulness and, yes, democracy.

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And no, there will be no retreat

I am willing to bet that the author Pippa Norris did not write the headline that appears on the online home page. Glass half empty thinking is the province of our jaded and sadly non-investigative media. A little diggng would come up with the points Pippa suggests in her exemplary op-ed. I suppose if it had been titled as this account is, it would have been deemed overly optimistic.

Pippa's points

Here is a digest of three major insights from this op-ed.

1. It's indeed the case that Trump threatens the very values that have made America exceptional. Pippa says Trump is a threat to America's historic leadership, which is founded on the willingness to defend universal human rights The MAGA argument is a thinly-veiled call for the triumph of impulses that are, on analysis, evil.

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2. The clear mandate progressives should honor is that the billions Trump intends to deliver to an already bloated military should be devoted to the very values that Trump's brutality opposes -- the promotion of tolerance and the spread of enablement and education that underlies the success of democratic governance.

Surprising reversals

3. The value of promoting democracy is rising. Stories about China fail to point out that this huge power is filled with people who would reject Xi in a nanosecond. All over the story is the same. There is a thirst not only for the high status of being a free people, but also for the incredible prosperity that comes when people can realize their full potential.

Globalization is not a mandate for corporate gouging of the world.

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It is a mandate to free capitalism from its slavery to investors so markets will be free. It is a mandate to place technology and science under control of an awakened people. Barring these developments, we face a bleak future.