Did American democracy just succumb to the strongman’s promise in a populist insurrection? The US’ electoral integrity was ranked 52 among the 153 countries behind all the rich Western democracies & countries like Costa Rica & Uruguay, the Baltic states, & Cape Verde & Benin in Africa. The problems are embedded in the design of America’s political institutions with all their checks and balances ostensibly designed to slow down policy-making and prevent political extremists from swiftly taking over the gears of government. These institutions have produced a polarized government, paralyzed by partisan gridlock, unable to govern effectively. They have built a system easy to demonize as rigged. Working Americans have suffered disproportionately from the economic shocks of our time. Income inequality in the United States far exceeds anything seen in other advanced nations.'