U.S. Democracy Slides toward ‘Competitive Authoritarianism’: Washington Post

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In competitive authoritarian regimes, formal democratic institutions are widely viewed as the principal means of obtaining and exercising political authority, Washington Post introduced its article, adding that Competitive authoritarianism is not only thriving but inching westward. No democracy can be taken for granted.

“As Americans vote in midterm elections, the specter of ‘competitive authoritarianism’ looms. That may be disquieting to many in a country that still sees itself as a democracy with no peer, wrapped in myths of exceptionalism and preeminence. But for years, analysts who examine the health of democracies in a global context have been sounding the warning. They point to the toxicity of the United States’ polarized politics, the partisan bias of the Supreme Court, the prevalence of gerrymandering that skews electoral outcomes in districts in favor of the party drawing the maps, and the electoral rejectionism of the Republican Party, which has pushed legislation in various Republican-controlled states that critics claim are anti-democratic measures which will undermine popular sovereignty.”

“It’s now entirely conceivable that Republican officials in a number of battleground states will wield enough power — and feel sufficiently empowered  to throw out 2024 election results in their constituencies should the results go against their interests. On the state level, Republicans are gaming the system in eye-catching ways: Even though Wisconsin, for example, is a 50-50 state, a gerrymandered Republican map could give the GOP a veto-proof, supermajority in the legislature. Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels quipped last week that, if elected, his party ‘will never lose another election’ in the state.”

“The Varieties of Democracy index, hosted out of Sweden’s University of Gothenburg, has tracked growing ‘autocratization’ in the United States over the past decade, accentuated by Trump’s denial of the legitimacy of the 2020 election and the Republican Party’s broader embrace of that denial. It separately has mapped on a grid how the Republicans have drifted deeper into the illiberal right, close in kinship to ruling nationalist factions in countries like India and Turkey and far-right parties in the West. (The GOP’s traditional conservative counterparts in Western Europe, meanwhile, are closer to the Democrats.)”

Seeing all this, Democrats, including President Biden, have made desperate appeals to voters to take to the electoral ramparts and protect the nation’s democracy, the article noted.

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