What’s your grief, and how are you coping with it? Perhaps you suffer from climate grief, a term that may have been coined in 2007, by the authors of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, to describe the despair and depression people experience when they contemplate the climate crisis. Maybe you console yourself by eating, which may result in what Germans call kummerspeck (literally “grief fat”).
Or maybe you, like New York Times opinion columnist Michelle Goldberg, are experiencing democracy grief: not merely “anxiety and anger” but also “a demoralizing degree of fear, even depression” that—as one psychologist put it to Goldberg—“the institutions that we rely on to protect us from a dangerous individual might fail.”
How Democracies Die (2018). by Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, who warn of the “gradual chipping away of democratic institutions” that makes it “harder and harder to dislodge the incumbent [elected official] by democratic means.”