A report released by a supposedly non-partisan think-tank has placed blame for the “global assault on democracy” on President Trump’s attacks on the press and “brash” foreign policy as America’s democratic standards “erode at an accelerating pace.”
“Democracy is under assault and in retreat around the globe, a crisis that has intensified as America’s democratic standards erode at an accelerating pace,” a summary of the report released by Freedom House claimed.
“Political rights and civil liberties around the world deteriorated to their lowest point in more than a decade in 2017, extending a period characterized by emboldened autocrats, beleaguered democracies, and the United States’ withdrawal from its leadership role in the global struggle for human freedom,” wrote Michael Abramowitz, the president of Freedom House and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Abramowitz leveled blame for the steady erosion of freedom globally on President Trump’s foreign policy, which he claimed has allowed authoritarian regimes to flourish, and his attacks on the mainstream media and deep state domestically.
“The core institutions of American democracy are being battered by an administration that has treated the country’s traditional checks and balances with disdain,” he declared, expressing particular disdain for Trump’s attacks on the supposedly non-biased mainstream media, judges who overstepped the bounds of the law and allowed their personal political views to dictate legal decisions, and the deep state, which has used every means at its disposal to sabotage his agenda.
“The president’s behavior stems in part from a frustration with the country’s democratic checks and balances, including the independent courts, a coequal legislative branch, the free press, and an active civil society. These institutions remained fairly resilient in 2017, but the administration’s statements and actions could ultimately leave them weakened, with serious consequences for the health of U.S. democracy and America’s role in the world.”
Ohio Governor John Kasich, a critic of the president who is reportedly considering a primary challenge in 2020, told reporters “My concern is I don’t want any autocrats to look at what’s happening here and apply it to their own countries.”