The trend lines are clear: Whether it is Freedom House or the Economist, democracy trackers agree that liberal democracy has been on the decline since 2006–around the world and within our own country.
The disquieting information presented by Hoover senior fellow Larry Diamond included the “autocrats’ 12 step program.” These steps, which include demonizing political opposition, undermining the independence of the courts and media and enriching a class of crony capitalists are academic when analyzing a foreign government. But evidence of those same steps manifesting in our own country elicits a toxic mix of anxiety, anger and sadness.
Diamond did offer a glimmer of hope in the conclusion to his remarks. Shining a light on campaign contributions and prohibiting dark money–opaque contributions whose source is unknown–should be eliminated. Rank-choice voting is a system where voters rank the candidates by preference and gives minor party candidates a real choice and may alleviate the extreme partisanship in our country. The situation is dire, and Diamond was sounding the alarm.
Our next program in the geopolitical series is on Brexit and will take place on Monday, July 22 at the Vail Interfaith Chapel.