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Donald and Melania Trump board Air Force One for the final time on Wednesday.

The democracy Trump leaves behind: His 7 most serious tests of the system

As Donald Trump's brazenly chaotic and exhausting presidency comes to an end, he leaves behind this fundamental question:

Did his relentless attacks on our democracy make its festering problems even more malignant than he found them? Or did his unstoppable assault on civic institutions and governing norms succeed in highlighting the system's fragility while also tempering its resilience?

The nation's collective behavior in the years ahead will determine whether American democracy's metaphorical glass has been irreparably emptied or has a sufficient reservoir for survival. For now, the 45th president's infuriated yielding of power on Wednesday allows for a quick countdown of seven ways he rattled the republic the most. Such inventories are a necessary first step for those dedicated to fixing the system — so the next four years under Joe Biden don't come close to replicating the stress and anxiety of the Trump era.

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Three pillars of conservative thought demand a constitutional curb on campaign finance

Conservatives' hard choice: National security vs. political corruption

Rubens was a Republican state senator in New Hampshire from 1994 to 1998. He is now on the board of American Promise, which seeks to amend the Constitution to allow tighter controls on money in politics, and New England chairman of the democracy reform group Take Back Our Republic.
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The story behind the indictment of Ohio Speaker Larry Householder is "just another normal tale about the sway cash has over politics in recent decades," writes Jeff Clements.

Bribery — or business as usual in our dysfunctional political system

Clements is the president of American Promise, which advocates for amending the Constitution to allow more federal and state regulation of money in politics. He was previously an assistant Massachusetts attorney general.

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