Forbearance is one of the two essentials for a functioning democracy described by Steven Levinsky and Daniel Ziblatt in their book “How Democracies Die.” Along with mutual toleration, forbearance enables more rounds of the electoral game to continue, as opposed to devolving into a civil war over the legitimacy of authority.

Forbearance essentially means, “self-control.” It means exercising discernment and restraint in matters of state, because of the dire consequences of allowing extremism to run rampant and destroy peace. Forbearance is also the avoiding of actions that violate the spirit of the law, if not the letter of the law.

Abandoning forbearance eventually draws blood.

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