07 February 2019 - 18:10
News ID: 443360
A
In the United States, large parts of the population are afraid of their government as it does not believe in democracy, equality, and liberty.

RNA - On this, a respected watchdog group on human rights has just sounded the alarm too: President Donald Trump poses an existential threat to American democracy, perhaps the greatest challenge it’s seen in modern history.

“Trump has assailed essential institutions and traditions including the separation of powers, a free press, an independent judiciary, the impartial delivery of justice, safeguards against corruption, and most disturbingly, the legitimacy of elections,” Freedom House president Mike Abramowitz writes in a special section of this year’s report, released on Tuesday. “We cannot take for granted that institutional bulwarks against abuse of power will retain their strength, or that our democracy will endure perpetually. Rarely has the need to defend its rules and norms been more urgent.”

Freedom House is a respected bipartisan watchdog group that compiles an annual report on the state of democracy and human rights around the world. This report, known as Freedom in the World, is widely cited by policymakers and academics who study democracy. It is a serious endeavor done by serious analysts - and this year, it is heavily focused on Trump and his administration.

That said, the report should be paired with Trump’s one-man foreign policy and unilateral approach to international affairs as well. In essence, the human rights group should pick a major fight with Trump in all spheres and more:

-This is an argument against the group’s own interest first. Roughly 85 percent of Freedom House’s annual revenue comes from federal grants, per a 2016 audit report. The fact that Abramovitz didn’t include Trump’s disastrous foreign policy practices in this year’s report is because he didn’t want to take the risk of inciting a vindictive Trump to go after the organization, the consequences of which could be dire.

-That Abramowitz took the risk on the domestic front illustrates just how worried the group is about the survival of American democracy. Thanks to Trump’s Muslim travel ban, anti-immigrant, anti-press and white supremacist policies, the US is no longer doing well on these metrics when compared to the rest of the world. This could also be due to things like the rise of hyperpartisan media, political polarization, and state-level restrictions on voting rights.

-Trump is following an established playbook to undermine international law and norms, including strategic agreements and treaties, like the INF with Russia, or the Iran nuclear deal, or the Paris climate accord. In doing so, he has isolated and subverted his country’s international standing and position beyond repair. Trump’s rhetorical and policy attacks happen to focus on America’s allies as well, through trade wars and imposition of tariffs or the fact that the European Union didn’t support his unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal - the practices that have destabilized international trade and politics.

-In making his pitch, Trump’s authoritarian inclinations, private power and attacks on the United Nations and its laws and resolutions, his resistance to the international system of multilateralism, and his unfounded claims – with sustained pressure from the Saudi-Zionist lobbies - that Iran poses a threat to the US and its allies in the Middle East are all familiar tactics to other autocrats and populist demagogues who seek to subvert checks on their antidemocratic leadership and power – even if that would require launching a new war of attrition and deceit elsewhere in the world.

Still a question remains: How come the United States, in which people are afraid of their government and its antidemocratic leadership, still insists on preaching other nations on democracy, and at times even invades and destabilizes them for that? No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Yet there can be no doubt that the US government is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood on both domestic and foreign policy fronts; a government that is afraid of its own people; afraid to entrust them with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. Any doubters should ask Freedom House and its new report Freedom in the World.

Source: Fars News Agancy

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