Our democracy is in danger
Understanding the threat
Taking on the threat
As Americans, we have strong tools rooted in our Constitution and system of checks and balances to prevent our democracy from declining into a more authoritarian form of government. At Protect Democracy, we draw on our experience upholding the guardrails of American democracy and work with experts who study the rise and fall of democracies around the world to identify key threats that need our immediate attention.
How we’re rebuilding our democracy
The four years after President Nixon left office provided a fertile environment for reform, and we are planning to be ready to take advantage of a similar moment in the future. We are working with congressional leaders and 2020 candidates of both parties, grassroots organizations, and democracy experts on plans for reform that would help ensure that we turn this crisis into an opportunity for strengthening our democracy.
“Actually, Protect Democracy is pro-rule-of-law. If in your mind that’s anti-Trump, that says a lot. ”
“These folks are worth their weight in gold. ”
“Democracies sometimes collapse suddenly. More typically, they waste away. One major cause of institutional decline involves politicians putting their own immediate interests ahead of their obligations to democratic norms. We wake up one day and discover that a long series of individual choices has rotted out the constraints on authoritarian rule. ”
“If there has ever been a clarion call for vigilance and action against a threat to the very foundation of our democratic political system, this episode is it. ”
“If a president can command the military and the civil service to break the law, there’s nothing to stop him from arresting his critics or falsifying an election. Even a president who has been democratically elected would then be in danger of overriding the will of the people once he falls out of favor. ”
“Elected authoritarians, as their popularity dwindles and their political allies leave them, often look weak and cornered. Some mistake this as a sign that extra vigilance is no longer warranted. But sometimes, this is precisely when elected authoritarians are most dangerous. ”
“We will put the problem more bluntly. Mr. Trump's suggestion that his Attorney General prosecute his defeated opponent is the kind of crude political retribution one expects in Erdogan's Turkey or Duterte's Philippines. ”
“Something to watch out for going forward would be overt and high-profile efforts to politicize prosecutions and investigations. Official attacks on specific media, such as the slander directed at the New York Times’s Bret Stephens, are also a concerning trend. I would pay attention to public opinion on democracy and toleration of political difference, which has been slipping on both sides of the aisle. ”
Help Protect Democracy
History has shown that the best way to protect democracy is by standing united in its defense. Your contribution will help us to scale up our efforts to educate, advocate, organize, and litigate on behalf of the values we all hold dear.