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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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Protestors in Florida speak out against private prisons, which prefer to house Black people because they cost less than white people, according to Kellogg.

Ending racial injustice begins with curbing law enforcement industry's political power

Kellogg is a volunteer in Lincoln, Neb., for Wolf-PAC, which is seeking to build grassroots support for a constitutional amendment that would permit more regulation of money in politics.
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A question for Joe Biden: If lobbying is the problem in Washington, as you claim, then why does your team include lobbyists?

Biden's ban on lobbyists in his administration would be unwise and discriminatory

Miller is board chairman of the National Institute for Lobbying & Ethics, the advocacy profession's trade association, and principal of the lobbying firm Miller/Wenhold Capitol Strategies.
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President-elect Joe Biden, who with Jill Biden marked Veterans Day on Wednesday, has come under criticism for not making democracy reform a priority.

Anxious democracy reformers pressing Biden to make more of their causes

Joe Biden has plenty of campaign promises to keep, beyond the obvious and enormous top priorities of corralling the coronavirus and stabilizing the economy. And that's made democracy reform groups, which have never counted him as an impassioned ally, newly skeptical their priorities will get addressed in his new administration.

Their anxiety has come to the surface this week. A coalition of 170 progressive good governance and voting rights organizations asked the president-elect to elevate a collection of fix-the-system proposals into his first 100 days' agenda. Separately, one of the most influential such groups, RepresentUs, lambasted the Biden transition for "an omission of epic proportions" by giving short shrift to the issues it cares about.

Their impatience, just days after Biden's victory became clear, underscores the precarious position the cause of fixing democracy's dysfunction has in the public policy agenda.

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