The Decline of World Democracy

The enemies of freedom have pushed the false narrative that democracy is in decline because it is incapable of addressing people’s needs. In fact, democracy is in decline because its most prominent exemplars are not doing enough to protect it. Global leadership and solidarity from democratic states are urgently needed.

Governments that understand the value of democracy, including the political powers of Washington, have a responsibility to band together to deliver on its benefits, counter its adversaries, and support its defenders. They must also put their own houses in order to shore up their credibility and fortify their institutions against politicians and other actors who are willing to trample democratic principles in the pursuit of power. If free societies fail to take these basic steps, the world will become ever more hostile to the values they hold dear, and no country will be safe from the destructive effects of dictatorship.

According to the Freedom house report, the global decline in democracy has accelerated in 2020, and the share of countries designated Not Free has reached its highest level since 2006. The report downgrades the freedom scores of 73 countries, representing 75 percent of the global population. Some of the countries that experienced significant deterioration in their political rights and civil liberties include India, Belarus, Hong Kong, Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, Poland, and Hungary. However, the exact number of countries that have seen the rise of anti-democratic governments for authoritarian regimes in the last ten years may vary depending on the criteria and methodology used to measure democracy.

For most of the past 75 years, despite many mistakes, the United States has aspired to a foreign policy based on democratic principles and support for human rights. When adhered to, these guiding lights, have enabled the United States to act as a leader on the global state, pressuring offenders to reform, encouraging activists to continue their fight, and rallying partners to act in concert.

Everyone benefits when the United States serves as a positive model, and the country itself reaps ample returns from a more democratic world. Such a world generates more trade and fairer markets for US goods and services, as well as more reliable allies for collective defense. A global environment where freedom flourishes is more friendly, stable, and secure, with fewer military conflicts and less displacement of refugees and asylum seekers. It also serves as an effective check against authoritarian actors who are only too happy to fill the void.

Next: The US decline on the Global Democratic Index.

The Attack on Israel, the US Elections

Our hearts and prayers go out to all those people in the Middle East who have been affected by the brutal tragedy and violence.
Did the republicans just get a golden ticket to the 2024 elections.

The attack on Israel was a terrible tragedy, and it should not be exploited for political gain. However, some politicians will inevitably try to use it to advance their own agendas, or to blame the US for the breach. One Israeli official has already accused the US intelligence of failing to detect the signs of the attack.

I think the US will react in three ways. First, they will offer more aid and equipment to Israel, even though Israel already has the best defense system and military capabilities in the world. Second, they will criticize Biden and the intelligence agency for not providing vital information that could have prevented the attack. Third, they will demand more funding and stricter enforcement for border security. They will argue that this attack shows the need to protect the US from external threats.

I can imagine Republicans coordinating their strategy over the weekend, and launching their attack on Monday morning, regardless of what intelligence and events unfold over the weekend.

Here is how I expect them to spin the tragedy:

  • They will blame the Biden administration and the Intelligence Department for not giving enough intelligence to the Israelis.
  • They will ask Congress to appropriate more money for Israel, and to cut Social Security, Medicare, and other social programs to pay for it.
  • They will use this as a rallying cry to secure the border by increasing enforcement, providing more funding, and deploying troops.

They will repeat these talking points through every channel of the Republican party until the election cycle.

They will accuse Biden and all Democrats of being soft on security, intelligence, crime, border crossings, and military readiness.

And finally, they will initiate more investigations to find out who they can blame, embarrass, humiliate, and destroy to make themselves look good.

This is a horrific event that deserves compassion and solidarity, not political manipulation. It is sad that some Republicans will use it as an opportunity to advance their own interests.

The republicans will see this as a golden ticket to the election.