Political Trust & Distrust 20

Free course. One paragraph per day.

Retaliation is almost certain when one faction subverts our system to harm another.  Consider, for example, what happened after Harry Reid and 51 other Democratic senators changed the Senate’s rules in 2013 for the approval of executive and judicial nominees (excluding nominees to the Supreme Court). They changed the threshold for approval from 60 out of 100 votes to only 51 votes. They did so to get around what they felt was Republican obstructionism.  They did not expect that soon the Republicans would control the Senate and copy their tactics, this time changing the rules to make it easier for the Republicans to approve their preferred Supreme Court nominees. 

The moral of the story: Never give your faction more power than you would entrust to your opponents.

Tomorrow, we dip our toes into the idea of vigilant distrust.

If you must, you can read ahead here. Enjoy!

Image: Retaliation for cheating at cards. 1935 movie “Mississippi.”

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