2020 was a *very* bad year for democracy

One of the many victims of the coronavirus pandemic over the last year was democracy around the world, according to a new report from Freedom House, a non-governmental organization that tracks trends in world governments.

As a lethal pandemic, economic and physical insecurity, and violent conflict ravaged the world in 2020, democracy’s defenders sustained heavy new losses in their struggle against authoritarian foes, shifting the international balance in favor of tyranny,” wrote Sarah Repucci and Amy Slipowitz ijn the organization’s Freedom in the World 2021” 보고서. “Incumbent leaders increasingly used force to crush opponents and settle scores, sometimes in the name of public health, while beleaguered activists—lacking effective international support—faced heavy jail sentences, 고문, or murder in many settings.
The numbers are striking. According to the stats kept by Freedom House, the democracy scores of 45 additional countries declined rather than improved over the last year — 그만큼 largest number measured in the study in 15 연령.
    과, 예, the United States is one of them. 사실로, over the last decade, 그만큼 “Global Freedom,” score for the US has dropped from 94 ...에 83 — putting it, according to Freedom House, among the 25 countries with the largest decline in that ratings over the last 10 연령. (A score of 100 means the country is totally free while a score of 0 means it is not free at all.)
      As the authors write:
        The final weeks of the Trump presidency featured unprecedented attacks on one of the world’s most visible and influential democracies. After four years of condoning and indeed pardoning official malfeasance, ducking accountability for his own transgressions, and encouraging racist and right-wing extremists, the outgoing president openly strove to illegally overturn his loss at the polls, culminating in his incitement of an armed mob to disrupt Congress’s certification of the results. Trump’s actions went unchecked by most lawmakers from his own party, with a stunning silence that undermined basic democratic tenets. Only a serious and sustained reform effort can repair the damage done during the Trump era to the perception and reality of basic rights and freedoms in the United States.
        It’s beyond debate that Donald Trump’s presidencycapped by the January 6 미국 국회 의사당에서 폭동 — 공개, 많은 미국인을 위해, that democracy is a far more tenuous thing here than they previously imagined.

          지난달, following former President Trump’s acquittal by the Senate, President Joe Biden nodded to that very reality. “This sad chapter in our history has reminded us that democracy is fragile,” said Biden. “That it must always be defended.
          And as the report makes clear, the erosion of freedom in the United States isn’t just about, 잘, 미국. Scenes like the one on January 6 are broadcast around the worldand actively used by authoritarian leaders to suggest America (and its democracy) has failed.
          Rulers and propagandists in authoritarian states have always pointed to America’s domestic flaws to deflect attention from their own abuses, but the events of the past year will give them ample new fodder for this tactic, and the evidence they cite will remain in the world’s collective memory for a long time to come,” write Repucci and Slipowitz. “국회 의사당 폭동 이후, a spokesperson from the Russian foreign ministry stated, ‘The events in Washington show that the US electoral process is archaic, does not meet modern standards, and is prone to violations.Zimbabwe’s president said the incident ‘showed that the US has no moral right to punish another nation under the guise of upholding democracy.'
          Another interesting element of the Freedom House report is how large a role China played in efforts to undermine democracy and individual freedoms in 2020 — most notably as it sought to downplay and cover up its role in the Covid-19 pandemic.
            Beijing ramped up its global disinformation and censorship campaign to counter the fallout from its cover-up of the initial coronavirus outbreak, which severely hampered a rapid global response in the pandemic’s early days,” reports the study. “Its efforts also featured increased meddling in the domestic political discourse of foreign democracies, transnational extensions of rights abuses common in mainland China, and the demolition of Hong Kong’s liberties and legal autonomy.
            What became increasingly clear to me as I read the report is that when America steps back as the best example of how and why democracy works in the world, other bad actors fill that void. 어느, whether you are a Republican, a Democrat or hate politics, should bother and worry you.

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