Our Democracy Is in Danger

According to Freedom House, the growth and spread of democracies that defined the 20th Century peaked in the early days of the 21st; since 2005, the state of democracies around the world has receded. In countries like Hungary, Poland, Turkey and Venezuela, autocrats have slowly dismantled democratic systems, leaving governments that are for the most part democracies in name only. Recent events in the United States have sounded a powerful alarm that, if we are not careful, our democracy could suffer a similar fate. The actions of domestic leaders who exhibit decidedly illiberal and autocratic tendencies has exposed an undercurrent in our politics that has been building for years and threatens our democracy. For example, thirty years ago, one in sixteen Americans expressed comfort with the idea of military rule; today that number is one in six.

Protect Democracy formed to prevent American democracy from declining into a more authoritarian form of government.

Protect Democracy was founded in late 2016 by a group of former high-level executive branch officials who served in the White House Counsel’s Office and upper echelons of the Department of Justice and have unique knowledge of the norms that have constrained presidential power for decades and when those in power may be tempted to violate them. As many of us defended past presidents against legitimate oversight and illegitimate attacks, we also know how to leverage tools outside government to prevent the exploitation of power within it. We have since assembled a group of some of the world’s leading experts who have studied how other democracies have declined in the 21st Century as advisers, and are backed by a Harvard Law School clinic, pro bono relationships with many of the country’s leading law firms, and a cross-ideological advisory board ranging from President Obama’s former Solicitor General to former Reagan White House officials.

What we’ve built to respond to the threat 

To learn more about the authoritarian threat to our democracy and what we’ve built to respond to it, read our pamphlet: On Democracy and Authoritarianism: The Present State of American Affairs.

Read our most recent IRS Form 990 reports, for the Protect Democracy Project and United to Protect Democracy, here:

The Protect Democracy Project is a 501(c)(3), United to Protect Democracy is a 501(c)(4). Learn more about the difference.

Help Protect Democracy

History has shown that the best way to protect democracy is by standing united in its defense. Donate to help us to scale up our efforts to educate, advocate, organize, and litigate on behalf of the values we all hold dear.


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