October 13, 2020

America Must Promote Democracy, Despite Trump’s Disdain for It

By Richard Fontaine

On Sept. 23, the U.S. State Department announced that the United States would no longer recognize Aleksandr Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus after he refused to hand over power to his opponent following a fraudulent election. That same day, the United States’ own president, Donald Trump, refused to commit to a peaceful transition after the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election.

A dysfunctional U.S. democracy at home makes it less credible to support liberalism abroad—at a time when freedom continues a more than decade-long retreat around the world.

The timing was more than awkward, as was the seeming double standard. In a world already riven by competition among political models, dictators and autocrats sense wind at their backs. A dysfunctional U.S. democracy at home makes it less credible to support liberalism abroad—at a time when freedom continues a more than decade-long retreat around the world. When the world needs the United States to lead in the support of democracy, the country is deeply divided about the strength of its own. Absent a quick correction, this portends trouble for what has long been a core element of U.S. foreign policy.

Read the full article in Foreign Policy.

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