Internacionales

Googlefobia | Curtis Ward | Assault on democracy and America’s response

Most important, democracy, as we know it, would have received a fatal blow. American democracy, often referred to as the beacon on the hill, historically lit the way for billions of people around the world in their quest for the freedoms promised and are possible, only in a democratic form of government. Those of us who are advocates of democracy were spared an ignominiously historic outcome – a world dominated by dictators, despotic regimes, autocrats, governments mired in corruption with impunity, and governments violating basic human rights at will

Whether planned as an insurrection, a terrorist attack on the US Congress, a conspiracy to engage in a coup to overturn a legitimate election, the unprecedented January 6, 2021 events were an assault on democracy. Not just on American democracy but on global democracy. The lame-duck American president, Donald Trump, and his sycophants needed no Russian autocrat to help them. The Russians could not have planned for a more destructive outcome. Had Trump succeeded, President Joseph Biden, Jr, and Vice President Kamala Harris would have been relegated to the footnotes of American political history rather than now headlining American and global leadership.

Most important, democracy, as we know it, would have received a fatal blow. American democracy, often referred to as the beacon on the hill, historically lit the way for billions of people around the world in their quest for the freedoms promised and are possible, only in a democratic form of government. Those of us who are advocates of democracy were spared an ignominiously historic outcome – a world dominated by dictators, despotic regimes, autocrats, governments mired in corruption with impunity, and governments violating basic human rights at will.

American democracy, despite its many faults and historical missteps, has evolved and has the resilience to survive this attack on its institutions and the rule of law. These American traditions are slowly on the way to recovery. Many democracies, mostly nascent in their development, do not have strong and proven democratic institutions and are often characterised by weak rule of law traditions. They are wracked by unchecked corrupt practices, and in some cases, teetering on the edge of autocracy.

These realities should be of concern to all of us. For these and a host of geopolitical reasons, of the 193 UN member states, 110 were invited to participate in President Biden’s Democracy Summit in December 2021. Eighty-three of the world’s sovereign countries not meeting this tenuous democracy threshold were not welcome to participate in the summit. This was an important beginning of a long-term project to strengthen democracies around the world and to isolate and pressure autocratic regimes that found favour during Trump’s presidency.

TRUMP’S CORRUPTION OF AMERICAN POLITICS Let me put the January 1 attack on the US Capitol in perspective. The attempted insurrection, the attempted political coup, planned and executed on the basis of Donald Trump’s “big lie” of a fraudulent 2020 presidential election, failed because enough Americans believed in democracy and the rule of law. Decent American political leaders, almost exclusively members of the Democratic Party, refused to surrender their ideals. But it never should have reached such a tipping point and possible disastrous outcome.

Headlines Delivered to Your Inbox Sign up for The Gleaner’s morning and evening newsletters.