A billionaire enters politics and leads his new party to electoral victory, thanks to a historically-unpopular opponent and overwhelming support from disgruntled conservatives. Once in government, though, the leader fails to deliver on many campaign promises, packs government institutions with unqualified loyalists, threatens political opponents with violence, and, when voters move to reject him, aggressively undermines democracy itself. This is not referring to Donald Trump and the Republican Party. Instead, these events occurred in the country of Georgia.

Beginning in the post-enlightenment era, a new generation of politics brought together a uniquely democratic, egalitarian structure of […]