The Lawfare Podcast: Tom Nichols on ‘Our Own Worst Enemy’

By Jen Patja Howell
Monday, August 23, 2021, 5:01 AM

All across the world, citizens of liberal democracies are justifying their rejection of democratic norms and traditions as a protest against a cast of elite villains. It comes in different flavors around the world, but the underlying trend seems to be the same.

While most observers are focusing on the impact of globalization or the activities of these very elites, Tom Nichols is placing responsibility somewhere else: the citizens themselves. Tom Nichols is professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College and the author of “The Death of Expertise,” and most recently, “Our Own Worst Enemy: The Assault from within on Modern Democracy.” He's also a five-time undefeated Jeopardy champion and has over half a million followers on Twitter, where he rages about everything from rock music, to Indian food, to national security. He sat down with David Priess for a wide-ranging conversation about democratic decline, its causes and effects, the tough process of looking in the mirror and related issues, from civil military affairs to the current Afghan crisis.