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Over the past several years, American institutions have faced challenges that have placed an enormous amount of stress and strain on them. Some of those challenges have been emergent phenomenon, while other challenges have been intentionally inflicted by political actors.
In addition to the institutions themselves faltering for their own internal reasons, and in some senses being fed by that faltering, the American people have lost confidence in the legitimacy of government, business, media, and more.
The downstream effects of this institutional crisis and loss of confidence have been higher than usual embraces of conspiracy theories and other forms of unreality. The January 6th riot at the United States Capitol was a striking and vivid example of the consequences of these problems.
In this episode, Yuval Levin, director of social, cultural, and constitutional studies at the American Enterprise Institute and the editor of National Affairs, explains these institutional crises, the failures of political leadership in this populist age, the growing embrace of forms of unreality, and what can be done about it.
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