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Democracy dies in boredom, on this week’s ‘Utah Politics’ podcast

Author Tom Nichols says the middle class is becoming too bored to care about fellow citizens

FILE -In this Oct. 12, 2020 file photo, voters wait in line to cast their ballot during early voting at the Bell Auditorium in Augusta, Ga. Fueled by Black turnout, Democrats scored stunning wins in the once reliably red state for president and U.S. Senate in the last election cycle. Republican lawmakers are now forging ahead with an aggressive slate of voting legislation that critics argue is tailored toward curtailing the power of Black voters. (Michael Holahan/The Augusta Chronicle via AP, File)

Author Tom Nichols says democracy across the globe is under threat, but not for the reason you may think.

Nichols, who is a contributing writer for The Atlantic, argues technologically advanced societies have increased their standard of living so rapidly, people are becoming bored and care less about their fellow citizens.

“People just got used to the idea that if things didn’t go the way they wanted or things didn’t happen in ways they approved of, it wasn’t the fault of some government policy, it was the fault of democracy, and they wanted to overhaul the whole system and replace it with something more rigid,” Nichols said.

He says in his new book Our Own Worst Enemy: The Assault from within on Modern Democracy that this is happening across the globe as once democratic nations are abandoning protections for free speech and religion and other important institutions.

Nichols says nowhere is it more evident that Americans don’t care about their fellow citizens than in our elections.

“Our politics has become all about hurting other people, instead of trying to create something positive. We used to go to the polls and say, here’s what I’m voting for. Now we go to the polls to vote against something and we hope it makes others really mad. The idea that we could all work together toward something has become alien to millions of people,” Nichols said.

Listen to the full conversation with Nichols below.

Tom Nichols on Twitter: @RadioFreeTom

Subscribe to the podcast for free here.

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