Fighting Over Who Belongs in Government

By Masa Gessen

Who can govern? Every American election poses this question. Formally, the question is, who will represent the people best? But the underlying question is, invariably, who belongs in government? Can a Catholic be President? Can a black man? A white woman? A man with no government experience? A gay man? A philanderer? A man accused of making unwanted advances toward women? A man who has gleefully acknowledged forcing himself on women? A woman of color? A Muslim? Does an immigrant belong in Congress? The 2016 election of Donald Trump, and the 2018 midterms, which brought several outlier members to Congress, reinflamed these questions.


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