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Readers respond to our March cover story and more.

How to Build an Autocracy

In the March cover story, David Frum wrote that corruption and intimidation by the president is possible “only if many people other than Donald Trump agree to permit it. It can all be stopped, if individual citizens and public officials make the right choices.”


I am currently a senior in high school studying comparative politics. The part of this article that struck me the most was the near-dystopian prediction of life under the rule of President Trump. I was not shocked by the course of action that the president may choose to take, but rather by the docile state of the American population that Frum described—it seems the least feasible of all his predictions. Political participation has become a part of daily life, whether in the form of Facebook posts, conversations at the dinner table, or seemingly constant demonstrations. On top of that, media outlets such as The Atlantic are circulating ideas that push citizens to telephone their senators and to support laws that force Trump to expose his own autocratic ways. Although the state of democracy may seem bleak in our government, democracy has never been stronger in the public sphere.

Jessie Berger


Mr. Frum painted a very interesting portrait, but it has some major problems. The first is his apparent underestimation of

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