Updated: Feb 10
Dr. Allan Lichtman has been a professor at American University in Washington, D.C., since 1973. He is an acclaimed historian, author, and commentator; who is co-credited with the creation of “the Keys to the White House model” in 1981, which is used as a tool to predict election results of U.S. Presidential elections. Dr. Lichtman has also authored a wide range of books and received numerous awards during his tenure; most notably, he was named “Distinguished Professor of History” in 2011; and “Outstanding Scholar/Teacher, 1992–93”, the highest faculty award of the school.
Image Graphics by Team Geostrata
Nikhitha: Welcome viewers. Today in this episode of the GeoInterview we have the honor of hosting Dr. Allan J. Lichtman. Dr. Lichtman is serving as a professor at American University in Washington, D.C. since 1973. Dr. Lichtman is an acclaimed historian, author, and commentator; who is co-credited with the creation of “the Keys to the White House model” in 1981, which is used as a tool to predict election results of US Presidential elections. Dr. Lichtman has also authored a wide range of books including “The Case for Impeachment”, “Historians and the living past: The theory and practice of historical study”, “Ecological Inference” etc.
He has received numerous awards during his tenure, most notably he was named “Distinguished Professor of History”, in 2011; and “Outstanding Scholar/Teacher, 1992–93” the highest faculty award of the school. The Goestrata welcomes you, professor, it’s indeed an honor and privilege to host you.
Dr. Lichtman: Thank You so much.
Harsh: Thank You, sir. So yeah, let’s begin sir. So, before jumping to the domestic politics of United States I have this question for you regarding your book “The Thirteen keys To The White House”, so sir, there are these thirteen precise points, you know which lead to the prediction of the presidential race correctly, so how did you come up with it and do you think in future you know have some additions in it, or you will change it or something that you will do?
Dr. Lichtman: You know I’d love to tell you that I came up with “the keys to the white hose” by a lot of brilliant thinking, by ruining my eyes in the archives. But if I were to tell you that to quote the late, not so great, Richard Nixon “THAT WOULD BE WRONG”. I came up with the keys to the white house solely by accident when I was distinguished visiting Professor in 1981 at the California Institute of Technology, Caltech; one of the one or two leading technological universities in the United States, and there I met a gentleman by the name of Vladimir Keilis-Borok from Moscow, the head of the Institute of Pattern Recognition and Earthquake Prediction in Moscow, and was his idea that we should collaborate and again bring brilliant and insightful.
Of course, I said, “No we are not” you know earthquakes may be a big deal here in southern California for Caltech is right about side of Los Angeles, but I gotta go back to American University in Washington, D.C. nobody cares about earthquakes there. But he said you know, I’ve already solved earthquakes, right? So get this in 1963 he was a member of the Soviet scientific delegation that came to Washington, D.C., and negotiated the most important treaty in the history of the world.
One of the reasons you are still here,“Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty”, that kept us from poisoning our atmosphere, our oceans, and our grasses. And he said in Washington I fell in love with the politics and I always wanted to use the methods of earthquake predictions to predict elections. But he said, “I live in the Soviet Union.Elections? Forget it ! But you, you are an American star; you know all about presidents and politics. So, why don’t we collaborate? So I agreed, and what we were going to do then was to use the methodology of the earthquake prediction, known as “pattern recognition” to see what pattern in the political environment, not the physical environment like they do for the earthquakes, or associate it with the victory and defeat for the party holding the White House. And to do this inquiry, we had to totally reconceptualize presidential elections.
That is we looked at them, this is 1981 not as Jimmy Carter vs Ronald Regan the last two contestants, not as the republican party vs the democratic party, not as liberals vs conservatives; but in geophysical earthquake terms as- stability, the party holding the White House keeps the White House and Earthquake, the party holding the White House is turned out of office. And with that reconceptualization, we looked at every American Presidential Election, from 1860- the horse and buggy days of politics when Abraham Lincoln was elected to 1980- when Ronald Regan was elected. And we looked at factors in the political environment associated with “Stability vs Earthquake”.
That led us to The Thirteen Keys to the White House which are simply thirteen true-false questions which can be answered prior to a presidential election and diagnose and predicts the outcome, and these are on the based on the theory that the elections are primarily votes up or down on the strength and performance of the White House Party. And we also came up with the simple decision rule, “If six or more of the keys turn against the White House Party that is if six of the questions are answered false then they are predicted losers. Fewer than six, negative keys the White House party is a predicted winner”.
This of course was retrospective analysis, but I have since used the system to predict every American Presidential Election from 1984 to 2020, including my successful prediction of the win for Donal Trump in 2016, which you can imagine did not make me very popular in Washington, D.C. where I teach, which is 90% plus democratic. But I always tell people, “Look, these are predictions, not endorsements. If I simply predicted according to my own political views I’d be wrong half the time. ”
Harsh: That is very intriguing to me sir, that you come up with these thirteen points basically with a seismologist. So the journey is very surprising to me, personally, when it comes to these thirteen points. So yeah, Sir, moving on, based on these keys only, you know recently there were midterms in the United States in 2022 only, November, last month, and based on these keys only and with no red wave in sight, what are we looking for in 2024?
Dr. Lichtman: Yeah, so it’s obviously too early to make a prediction for 2024. A lot can happen. American Politics is in a real situation of great flux. Sometimes the keys do fall on takes place early but so far not yet. But I can give you some inside information about this, give you an insight that very few people have.
Here’s what I can tell you, one of the lessons of the keys is to forget the Pundits, forget the pollsters; you know they are like spoiled stock radio, they may be entertaining but there is no basis for their opinions. They are not based on the model like the keys, how elections really work. And, the conventional wisdom of pundits is telling you that the democrats need to nominate someone else, other than Joe Biden they need fresh blood.
Well, I’m not a physician and I’m not gonna comment on Biden’s health or age. I’m not even that much younger than him myself, but the hard politics of 2024 so far based on the keys tell us the pundits are entirely wrong. That the Democrats’ best chance for winning in 2024 turns on Biden running again. Let me explain. One of my keys is incumbency, if Biden doesn’t run the democrats lose the incumbency key. It becomes an open-seat election which is very difficult for the White House party to win, as we saw for example in 2016 or 2008, or 2000.
Secondly, there is an internal party fight key, if Biden doesn’t run, there’ll be a bitter battle within the democratic party, So Biden doesn’t run, the Democrats will lose two keys, and remember it takes six keys to predict the democrats will lose. That means if Biden doesn’t run again they only need to lose four more keys. But if Biden does run they secure the incumbency key, they secure the party battle key and they would need six more keys to predict democratic defeat so it makes a huge difference in terms of the hard politics of 2024, whether Biden runs again. If he does run again they are likely winners. If he doesn’t run again they can still win but it’s much less likely.
Harsh: Ok! That is very interesting. And this is something again that you are predicting and is again something that you know many in Washington are on the other side. As we see there are many people who are saying that Biden should not run again because of his age. But again, it’s something different here.
So taking on from that, President Biden’s party has passed many bills recently and, like the IRA- Inflation Reduction Act, Chipps Act, and there have been many other bills also in the main loop. So, looking at all these things, you know, Washington has again started to be involved a lot in the economy, and with this, we have been seeing that, is there a change in the American electorate through this? Will these, passing of these acts, big Acts, you know, have an impact on the behaviour of the electorate or something?
Dr. Lichtman: I think we saw that in the midterm elections of 2022, you know Biden’s approval rating was fairly low, but as you point out he has an extraordinary record of domestic legislative accomplishments. He has achieved at least half a dozen major bills, you outlined a couple of them and there are many more. He has achieved a greater number of domestic reform legislations, greatest since the 1960s. And that is really something. And we’ve seen in this midterm elections that the American people are not buying Donald Trump’s lies about a stolen election.
They don’t wanna replay 2020. They want concrete measures that improve their daily lives and that is something that Biden has delivered with this incredible hall of domestic legislation. Plus and this has been way underplayed in the press, Biden in many ways single-handedly saved Ukraine from being taken away by the Russians, and if that had happened the consequences would be catastrophic for democracies all over the world. It was Biden who first perceived the Russian threat to Ukraine.
It was Biden who brought together this western coalition to provide Ukraine with the logistics and weaponry it needed to resist a Russian invasion. It wasn’t Macron in France, it wasn’t Trudeau in Canada, It wasn’t Merkel in Germany, it was Joe Biden who foresaw what i
s going to happen and organized the resistance. He hasn’t gotten nearly the credit that he deserves from the American press for that.
Harsh: Taking on from that only sir, you mentioned that, you know, Biden single-handedly did this Ukraine stuff, or you know promoting this defense of Ukraine, Promoting the defense of democracies within eastern Europe and also Europe. So, one of your keys, as I read your keys, is a major military achievement.So can we say that this is Biden’s major military achievement or are we looking forward to the next two years and we have to wait? Or is this the one? The turning point.
Dr. Lichtman: Yeah, certainly the response to the Russian Invasion of Ukraine is quite likely a foreign policy success. But as you said you know the situation in Ukraine hasn’t fully played out yet. You know, it could turn negative I hope not but that‘s certainly possible so I am holding judgement on whether or not ultimately that’s gonna prove to be a turn the foreign policy success key in favour of the democrats but certainly as the potential to do so. Moreover, the policy changes the new outlined plus the changes he made by executive order, like rejoining the Paris accords, climate change, reversing a lot of Donald Trump's attempts to undermine domestic environmental regulations. All of that has so far secured him the policy change.
Harsh: That is amazing again, so taking on from that we are seeing that America is facing a lot of issues. There are many things going on in the US, and with that, how do you think the 2024 elections are going to be, you know, very detrimental? How is it going to play on the institutions and the democratic structure of the US? Are we going to see something substantial happening or is it a turning point election? You know historians like you see back or the professor like you see back are they going to see 2024 as a start of something new you know in American politics or is it not that big?
Dr. Lichtman: I have been really worried about the future of American politics, and I even wrote a book about it. My last recent book is called "Thirteen Cracks: Repairing American Democracy After Trump” which I pointed out and all the loopholes in the american political system and have enabled an entire democratic party like donald trump to really threaten the future of american democracy but I have to say I have been a bit heartened by the 2022 election deniers or as I prefer to call them election liars pretty much across the broad in swing states lost only a handful of those won compared to many many more of these election liars who lost and that was very encouraging.
What is also encouraging, with the possible exception of the victory of Kari Lake during the gubernatorial elections in Arizona,a vast majority of these losing election deniers did not attempt to contest the results that did not claim that the election was stolen from them that includes Herschel Walker who recently lost the runoff election for US senate in the state of Georgia. So I was heartened by that, and I am also heartened by the fact that they didn’t see the problems in the administration of this election.
It seems more like a normal election; perhaps that is what we have been used to. So maybe we are now moving more towards the normalisation of American politics, which remains the same. You know, there are still a lot of followers in the republican party who still believe the election was stolen and there is still the real possibility of throwing the threats to American democracy but the 2022 elections were very heartening and perhaps to signal something of a return to what normal politics in the US.
Harsh: Moving on to the domestic politics side from this ,there is a rising hispanic voter turnout also in the US and we are also seeing that you know the hispanic voter is very important. So how has this, you know, tried to change the future of US politics, or is it affecting US politics in some ways where we may see that in some years this may change or something new may come up.
Dr. Lichtman: The make-up of the American electorate has fundamentally changed over the last few decades. It is no longer a predominantly white electorate, but there has been, you know, a substantial rising. In fact, the largest growing voting group in the US is no longer Hispanics, it’s Asian-American, and so the minority voters in America are very diverse. There are African-American, Hispanics and these are also the two largest groups, but Asian Americans are creeping up and becoming a much more significant element of the voting public.
You know, Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election to Barack Obama. The Republican Party kind of had a reckoning in which they said, "You know, we really do need to respond to the growing minority element of the electorate," and they haven’t. Minorities are still fairly solidly Democratic although hispanic has been a real battle ground and while they still have been majority democratic.
In some cases Republicans have made inroads into the hispanic votes because hispanics you know socially tend to be very conservative in their social approach and liberal in their social approach, economics and governance so they have become something of a battle ground and will continue to be a pivotal battle ground between the two parties.
Harsh: So, Can we say that hispanic voter is more of an independent voter when it comes to elections or is it like there are parts of hispanic voters which are democratic and some parts are republican.
Dr. Lichtman: You know there are very important swing votes. They still are predominantly Democratic but it does make a difference for elections to the extent to which the republican were able to cut into the Hispanic votes. For example, Governor Ron Desantis in Florida, who had a thumping big nineteen point victory, did extremely well with the Hispanic vote.
The Republicans in Texas have cut into the Hispanic vote. So I think the Democrats need to take a lesson here: You can no longer take the Hispanic vote for granted, but you gotta work hard to win the Hispanic vote and show that your policies are much more beneficial for Hispanics in this country than what the Republicans are offering.
Harsh: As you mentioned, Governor Ron Desantis had a sweeping win on the night in November. And many news channels in America were saying across America that the biggest winner of the 2022 midterms is Ron Desantis and the biggest loser is trump. So do you think he's going to run in 2024? Or do you think he will be, you know, a silent spectator in 2024 and will try to play it safe? And obviously, how does it affect US politics?
Dr. Lichtman: I have no inside information about the Governor Desantis’ intentions but just looking from the outside as the expert and political analyst I do believe that he is going to run for President and right now again it’s early the politics show that he would be really competitive with donald trump in republican primaries.
And again, I am not much of a political follower, but you know, I think that’s probably right, and I do think he would be a significant challenger, but I have a major caveat, and that is that you never know how successful anyone is going to be in a presidential campaign until they actually become a candidate and a campaigner. There is nothing comparable to the white heat of a presidential campaign, and many individual candidates who have been touted as excellent and overwhelmingly strong presidential candidates have wilted in the white heat of a presidential campaign. My favourite example is John Glenn, the great American hero and astronaut.
The senator from Ohio was considered an enormously powerful presidential candidate and totally wilted and melted under the white heat of the presidential campaign. And you know, Ron Desantis has never run for anything larger than a single state. So, it remains to be seen how successful he is going to be, plus he is not going to be the only non-Trump candidate running in that Republican primary process. You know, the king is wounded, and the pretenders are going to come out and challenge the wounded king.
Harsh: Exactly, sir.So, taking on from that only there is a very famous saying in America,given by James Carvell in 1992 that,’ it’s the economy ,stupid!’ and the midterms, I think somewhere like many people said that the midterms show us that it’s not always the economy, is that true or not because even your key says that economy is a major part.
Dr Lichtman: You know that’s one of the most misleading statements ever made by a shrewd political analyst.The keys show it's not just the economy, economy is important too like thirteen keys have two economic keys but lots of other things factor into elections. Look at 2016, economy was doing extremely well, nothing wrong with the economy no way you could attribute the defeat of the democrats in 2016 to the economy so you got to look at the much broader picture, there are lots of other concerns that you know go into the electoral decision of American, certainly the economy is important and just looking at economy you will be right most of the time but you would also be wrong a lot of the time
Harsh: Exactly sir, so apart from the economy turf, we have seen that there has been this Tea party movement in the US which started you know during the time of the Obama Presidency and this Tea party movement why I am stating this right now because now we have very fractured Republican majority within the house and this very small Republican majority is going to lead you know many stoppages in the Washington when it comes to deciding something.
Will that affect Biden’s Presidency in some part or will the Tea party faction inside the you know inside the Republican party will be a good for democrats and will be a pro for democrats because there will be a fracture within inside the Republicans so can we see that also adding to the keys of Biden.
Dr Lichtman: well to the extent Republicans are divided and fighting among themselves which i think that’s gonna happen that’s obviously good for the opposition party but on the other hand the fact that there is a very strong right wing caucus within the Republican party and within the US house means that the US house is more likely to be an obstruction to continued domestic reform legislation on behalf of the Biden administration so the Biden administration has got to be very careful and work with the House and because Democrats only need to pick five votes to get the majority or six votes around their they got to work very carefully to pick off those who are repulsed by the extreme right wing of the republican party and if they can get a you know handful of votes for democratic initiatives then perhaps they can work even with republican house
Harsh: Exactly sir so can we see a fractured bipartisan era coming up or is it too early to call?
Dr Lichtman: I think you are talking about Bipartisan legislation
Harsh: Yes sir
Dr Lichtman: Yeah I think it’s possible we saw that even before the 2022 midterm there
was a bipartisan agreement on a gun control legislation the first gun control legislation since the 1990s; there was a bipartisan agreement on legislation to protect same sex marriage; there was some bipartisan agreement on the legislation to promote chips manufacturing in the United States.
So there are issues on which there can be bipartisan cooperation but it’s tough ;you gonna need to win over some republicans because you need all votes in the house if you are democrat and for most bills you need to get 60 votes in the senate to overcome a filibuster ,democrats only have 51 votes so there’s a lot of work that Biden administration and it’s allies in congress have to do if the administration is gonna continue to score legislative success.
Harsh: As you mentioned the gun control, so second amendment has affected the US politics a lot so are we seeing a new churn in this maybe something changes with the Biden’s next two years you know that there is some act on the second amendment and how if anything happens regarding second amendment because touching it sometimes is very volatile in US politics ;ruckus gets created. So how do you think touching the second amendment may affect that 13 keys also and in which particular zones
Dr Lichtman: Yeah the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people is the idea that second amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms as opposed to keeping and bearing arms to support a well regulated militia and the notion that it was not an individual right but a collective right for militia prevailed in America for well over 200 years.
You know federal court decisions and that only changed with the Heller decision in 2012 in which I believe Antonin Scalia badly misinterpreted the historical record to claim an individual right to keep and bear arms in the second amendment in fact not a single one of 1000 of persons at the time involved in passing the second amendment in the congress or ratifying the second amendment in the states ever said not one that this amendment protects an individual right to keep the bear arms and here’s the most decisive argument who framed the second amendment- James Maddison a slave holder; slave holders voted for the amendment in congress and the state do you think for one moment slave holders would have voted for an amendment that gave black people in United States an unlimited right to keep and bear arms?
Ofcourse not! but by tying it to the militia you kept arms out of the hands of black people because black people were barred from the militia you know so this is the greatest hopes and it is so unfortunate because the conservative supreme court has used this to strike down gun control laws that actually protect americans like the permit law in New York state do you know that the handful of states with permit law have gun death rates well under half of the remaining states so you know we need to face what second amendment really is but there is some momentum to reconsider gun control legislation because of the horrific toll of gun violence do you know that an American today is 20 times more likely to be murdered by a gun than a resident of our most comparable nations the G7 nations plus Australia that’s not 20% more likely that’s 20 times more likely and again the American people you know according to the polls are overwhelmingly in favour of expanded gun control legislation on things like background measures or assault weapons but you know within the republican party they are still held hostage to the National Rifle Association and this misinterpretation of the second amendment despite all the scandals that plagued the National Rifle Association .
Harsh: With this faction of republican party which is you know quite a lot dominated by the NRA we have seen that there is you know a sense of this new thing coming up that there is isolation between the people of rural america and they are left out by Washington somehow do you think that this also plays in US elections somehow and again affects the keys
Dr Lichtman: I am not sure it affects the keys cause the keys take all these into account, let me say you are you know right there is a substantial segment of american electorate both republicans and democrats who do feel that they are left out that they have been abandoned by so called elites and that was something effectively exploited at least for a while by Donald Trump you know certainly in 2016 but that argument you know has begun to fail as we saw essential preside over three losing election cycles for republican 2018, 2020 and 2022 but there has been a big failure on part of democrats to reach out to these people democratic messaging has been really deficient you know certainly a lot of democratic programs like minimum wage like bringing down drug prices like expanding medicaid like building infrastructure do in fact improve the lives of people who have felt that they have been left out but the democrats really haven’t effectively solved that you know for a while democrats were great with messaging you know Franklin Roosevelt was probably the greatest President in terms of political persuasion in US history but they have really been very deficient in recent years
Harsh :- And that deficiency of connect between the so called elites that is the Washington which is you know many times used as a word to describe the elites and the rural America is leading to many issues.Also we are seeing that there has been a lot of upting in many things that are radical never seen America especially when I see through an Indian eye that you know America is an example of democracy for every nation so what do you think is this new uptick in voter right restrictions in US going to you know do to the US domestic politics how is it going to effect that
Dr Lichtman:- Well voter restrictions are very important and they have been almost entirely adopted by Red states or by republican states because for decades republicans have believed that low turnout benefits Republicans and the higher turnout, which brings out particularly minority voters benefits, Democrats. And almost every Republican state has adopted some kinds of voter restrictions, voter ID laws, restrictions on absentee ballots, restrictions on early voting, purging of voter registration rolls, disenfranchising former felons, these are extremely important and you know, have had an impact on American politics. But on the other hand, there's been a backlash against these restrictions.
That, you know, leaders of the minority community have used the voter restrictions, like we saw in the state of Georgia, to spur minority turnout to say, you know, they're trying to stop you from voting, and we're not going to let them do that. So you know, it's been a bit of a mixed bag in terms of its political impact. It certainly, you know, makes it more difficult for people to vote, but it's also a motivating factor for people to vote.
Harsh: Sir we have seen that lately, there has been a huge turnout of people in elections, we saw that Donald Trump got almost more than 10 million votes than the previous and Biden who got the most votes, when compared to any American president elected ever elected the popular vote. So what is the factor that is changing this? Why are so many people coming out and voting?
Prof Lichtman: Yes, I think, you know, part of that is Donald Trump. You know, Donald Trump spurs fierce loyalty and fierce opposition. We really haven't seen that for an American political leader in a very long time, maybe, since Ronald Reagan, in part, but even Ronald Reagan didn't quite stir this kind of fervor and loyalty and fervent opposition, it's very hard to be neutral, about Donald Trump. So I think that's been very important in spurring voter turnout to new records, both in presidential years, and in midterm years.
And I also think, you know, that, in the modern era, people are beginning to understand how important elections are, elections have consequences, they matter. You know, if Donald Trump had not won in 2016, we would not have a Supreme Court that overturned the right to safe and legal abortions, that has implications for, you know, for virtually every American, not just women, but obviously, you know, for men, for children, for families.
You know, that's just one example of the ways in which elections have enormous consequences if Biden hadn't won in 2020, wouldn't have the infrastructure bill, wouldn't have the inflation control bill, we wouldn't have a new commitment to combating climate change. So I think that Americans increasingly are realizing just how important elections are. Politics is not irrelevant. The two parties are not the same. It makes a big difference now, whether you elect Republicans or Democrats that might not have been so true, you know, back in the time of Richard Nixon, or Dwight Eisenhower, you know, more moderate type of Republicans.
Harsh: Sir what if, if it happens, what will a Biden versus Trump look like in 2024? Or if it happens, are we going to see some constitutional crisis? Or is it going to be a normal election?
Prof Lichtman: I think it will be a normal election. But if it is Donald Trump, and he loses, I think he will try to create a constitutional crisis. But there's a big difference. He was president in 2020. And he could use all of the powers of his presidency to try to overturn the verdict of the voters. But if he loses in 2024, you know, presuming it's Biden versus Trump, hypothetically, he won't have the power and prestige of the presidency behind him. And it will be vastly more difficult for him to make an effective effort to try to undermine American democracy.
Harsh: Sir you have had an expansive career and understanding of the US politics. And this journey has been very long as we see that you have almost predicted nine elections correctly, and you have these 13 keys, which are, I think the most important thing when I see it through the outside, and when you go back to your career or you reflect your career, what, what do you think has been the turning point? And what do you think is the most important thing?
Prof Lichtman: I'll tell you the secret for being an effective political analyst, and particularly an effective predictor. And I'm really the only one in the world who has a structural predictive system based on history that goes all the way back to the middle of the 19th century. But here's the secret to being effective as an analyst and a predictor. You got no history. Although that ain't it? Got no math? Oh, that ain't it. Got no politics?
Well, the most important thing is to put aside your own personal preferences and preconceptions. If I were to make predictions based on my own political preferences, I'd be wrong half the time, I'd be useless as a predictor, that may sound like an easy thing. But it's really, really hard. That's why I think my training as an historian is important over many, many years.
In my training as an historian, I learned to be as impartial as possible to examine the evidence and the logic of situations as thoroughly, as impartially as possible, and not let any biases creep into it. So, you know, that is my ultimate lesson to you, and all your viewers. Try to be as impartial as possible, never abandon the search for truth through evidence and logic. Sadly, you know, one of the worst effects of the Donald Trump presidency has been to undermine the truth. You know, they talk about alternative facts.
You know, they fabricate things like the stolen election in 2020. And I think the most important thing we can do moving forward is rededicate ourselves to finding the truth no matter where it may lead, you know, it led me to predict Donald Trump in 2016, I can assure you it did not reflect my political preferences or the political preferences of the circles that I travel in. But my search for the truth led me there and I unflinchingly had to recognize that.
Harsh: That is very important,Sir.To put our biases behind and then see it through a very clear mirror. So what will your suggestion be to a student anywhere in the world like I am here in India, or someone in United Kingdom, someone in any European country or an African country, how to see US politics now how to, you know, understand it, when someone is a beginner or someone has an interest in it?
Prof Lichtman: I think for anyone around the world, particularly for young people, it's really important to understand that even in the United States, the world's longest continuous running democracy, democracy is not something that can be taken for granted, but must be defended, advocated for, protected, you know, democracy is precious, but like all precious things it can be destroyed.
You know, in the aftermath of World War One, we had the first golden age of democracy, we had about two dozen democracies out of almost none. Then, by the middle of the earth, by the early 1940s, the number of democracies had been more than cut in half down to only about 10 to 11. Democracy flourished again in the late 20th century.
But in recent years, we've seen the decline of democracies, we've seen many fewer,few pure democracies in the world. So my lesson to everyone is if you want to preserve democracy, which is the only way a government can serve ordinary people, you've got to defend it, you've got to fight for it. You've got to take nothing for granted.
Harsh: Sir, coming to my last question, which party do you think in power gets it out better and more collaborative with India, when in power?
Prof Lichtman: I'm not going to address that question that's not in my scope, anything I've analysed. I don't want to take political positions if I can avoid them here.
Harsh: No, I understand. Sir, it was really great talking to you, sir. It was like you answered all our questions and extensively. And with a very deep research you have, you know, you took up the historic points of how, you know, comparing Ronald Reagan, and to the Ronald Reagan to the current Biden administration, everything was taken up.
And even James Madison was brought up, and everything from Second Amendment, Roe v. Wade, we had everything we discussed everything. And it is very astonishing to talk to you. And the amount of sizable knowledge that you bring to the desk is enormous. And we got to know a lot about US politics today, it has been an honor hosting you.
And as I have personally said, that I'm your personal fan. So it is a very big deal. And all 105 of us at the Geostrata, really thank you for coming today to us. And it was great hosting you and we got to know a lot.
Prof Lichtman: Thank you very much. Thank you for the excellent questions.
Watch the entire interview on the Geostrata's YouTube page
BY NIKHITHA NELSON AND HARSH SURI
IN CONVERSATION WITH DR. ALLAN LICHTMAN, A PROFESSOR AT AMERICAN UNIVERSITY IN WASHINGTON, D.C. SINCE 1973.
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