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Protesters used violence and intimidation to prevent federal officials from collecting a whiskey tax during George Washington’s presidency. Archive Photos/Getty Images

Political rage: America survived a decade of anger in the 18th century – but can it now?

Like today, passions were strong and political discourse was inflamed in late 18th-century America. Angry mobs torched buildings. Virginians drank a toast to George Washington’s speedy death.
The founders believed education was crucial to democracy. Here, a one-room schoolhouse in Breathitt County, Ky. Photograph by Marion Post Wolcott/Library of Congress

America’s founders believed civic education and historical knowledge would prevent tyranny – and foster democracy

Democracies degenerate because of cunning leaders. Democracies also crumble because of the people themselves – and the US founders believed education would be crucial to maintaining democracy.
Both Andrew Jackson, left, and Donald Trump presented themselves as men of the people. Jackson, Library of Congress; Trump, Drew Angerer/Getty Images

All American presidents have made spectacles of themselves – and there’s nothing wrong with that

A president’s persona is always a public act. In that way, Trump’s shtick – vulgar man of the people – was not exceptional. And every president has had to invent his version of the role.
Republican nominee Gov. Mike Pence and Democratic nominee Sen. Tim Kaine stand after the vice-presidential debate in Farmville, Va., Oct. 4, 2016. Joe Raedle/Pool via AP

A brief history of presidents snubbing their successors – and why the founders favored civility instead

‘Mind your manners’ isn’t just something your mother told you. Manners – and civility – are an essential component of how things get done in government, and the Founding Fathers knew it.
George Washington would have thought wearing a mask was manly. National Portrait Gallery, Gilbert Stuart portrait/A. Papolu, illustration

George Washington would have so worn a mask

A biographer of George Washington says that the father of the country would have no problem wearing the kind of protective gear that President Trump shuns.
La Vérité, le temps et l'Histoire, par Francisco de Goya. Wikipédia

Ce que la post-vérité peut nous apprendre

La vérité n’est nullement garantie et elle exige un apprentissage technique, ainsi qu’une forte dose de bonne volonté et parfois même une bonne part de courage personnel.

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