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The Kiel Institute Focus Series presents papers on current economic policy topics. Their authors are solely responsible for their content and their views or any policy recommendations they may make do not necessarily represent the views or recommendations of the Institute.

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No. 32    October 28, 2016
by Dennis J. Snower


US campaign increases dangerous mistrust in political system

One thing emerges clearly from these US Presidential election debates: Personal attacks on the opponent's character, temperament and judgment are steadily rising. The supporters of both candidates increasingly believe that the opposing candidate is a crook who would be a disaster for the country. As a result, once the election is over, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that the losing part of the electorate will submit to the democratic process and follow the leadership of the winner. This means not only worsening political stalemate, but a gradual subversion of the liberal principles of tolerance, trust, fairness and civic duty that are essential for democracy to work.


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