Document Type



Democracy always has an element of instability or fragility. As many have warned, authoritarianism is constantly ready to undermine democratic progress. This article examines how this reality relates to the current U.S. setting, particularly in the aftermath of January 6th and the continued weakening of democratic norms. Attention is given to the historical examples of this problematic trend in the U.S. as well as global examples. The aim of this article is to inform students of the fragility of the republic while also examining ways that the ideas of the democratic republic can be sustained even when they often seem to be under attack. The author's own experiences in Washington on January 6th (in a journalistic role) are used as a foundation and backdrop to this broader discussion, which is primarily designed for secondary social studies students.