President Joe Biden privately met with a group of historians at the White House last week who warned him about ongoing threats to democracy, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
Sources familiar with the August 4 meeting, which was said to have lasted nearly two hours, told the outlet the experts described the current moment as among the most dangerous to democracy in modern history.
The people in the meeting were said to have included the Princeton University history professor Sean Wilentz, the University of Virginia historian Allida Black, the journalist Anne Applebaum, and the presidential historian Michael Beschloss. Speechwriters for Biden, including Vinay Reddy and Jon Meacham, and the White House senior advisor Anita Dunn were also said to have attended.
The small group almost exclusively discussed totalitarianism around the world and threats to American democracy, according to the Post.
The outlet reported the scholars compared the current state of affairs to the era that preceded the American Civil War, as well as the period before World War II when fascist movements emerged, specifically noting Abraham Lincoln’s 1860 election and President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1940 election. [Continue reading…]