To face global threats, US urgently needs to repair democracy at home
President Joe bidenJoe BidenJosÃ© AndrÃ©s to travel to Kentucky following devastating Sunday tornadoes preview: officials and experts respond to omicron; Biden administration sounds the alarm on Russia, China Biden says he will travel to storm-affected area: “We will overcome this together” MORE has reckoned with two interrelated global crises that together illustrate a heart-wrenching truth: Western democratic values ââare receding globally, and internal disarray with America’s own democracy allows this recession.
For the United States to face threats from adversaries in the West and counter the rise of autocratic movements across the world – in other words, to correct what is broken with global democracy – we must address the issues that lie ahead. exist within our own democracy.
The United States, to lead, must once again become a model of successful democracy that other nations want to follow. A series of systemic reforms can chart the way out of the abyss that has undermined our democracy and threatens to replace “government of the people, by the people” with authoritarian rule and autocracy, which is on the rise. the world.
To that end, one of the aforementioned global crises facing Biden is the military escalation on the Ukrainian border, where thousands of Russian troops have been deployed in a move that the international community believes could signal an invasion of the ‘Ukraine by Russia.
Last week, Biden held a video conference with the Russian president Vladimir PoutineVladimir Vladimirovich PutinFrom the Cold War to a hard freeze Vindman: US has been ‘fickle’ in friendship with Ukraine New policy gives some federal agencies 24 hours to assess major cyber attacks: MORE report in an effort to alleviate the crisis; however, neither the White House nor the Kremlin have said progress has been made. Biden reportedly warned Putin that an invasion would result in severe economic sanctions, with the disruption of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and Ukraine receiving defensive capabilities from the West.
Although Biden has ostensibly drawn a “red line,” Putin stands firm in the face of military escalation and continues to demand guarantees that NATO will not expand eastward into Ukraine. This indicates that the Kremlin is emboldened by what it sees as a fragmented Western alliance and a weakened America both internally and internationally, especially after the catastrophic withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan in August.
At the same time, the Biden Democracy Summit, a virtual gathering of more than 100 countries, took place last week amid growing democratic crises in Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Africa. Africa. The declared objectives of the event were to “present an affirmative agenda for democratic renewal and to tackle the greatest threats that democracies face today through collective action”.
We are convinced that America must show committed leadership in order to safeguard global democracy. However, Russia and China, among other countries excluded from the guest list, used the summit to stir up cynicism over the strength of the Western alliance and disparage the United States for asserting itself as as a world democratic leader at a time when our own democracy is in trouble.
Together, Putin’s steadfast stance vis-Ã -vis Ukraine and international criticism surrounding the Biden Democracy Summit illustrate how the internal democratic crisis in the United States effectively enabled a decline in global democracy, while at the same time. weakening our position on the world stage.
In order to truly achieve the stated goals of the summit and to counter aggressive adversaries like Putin, who want to destabilize the West, America must take urgent action to strengthen our democratic systems and institutions here at home.
There are solutions to restore confidence in our democracy, and we call on our elected officials to implement fundamental electoral, legislative and judicial systemic reforms, while pursuing centrist and common sense priorities that encourage bipartisan cooperation.
Above all, we must make our elections freer and fairer so that they can again serve as a model for countries around the world. There are a number of reforms to this end, including the imposition of a non-partisan redistribution, the implementation of preferential voting, and the end of the winner-take-all electoral college system.
We can also implement measures that would move the United States away from our current two-party system, which has allowed extremism to rise in both parties and made elected officials reject the compromise. We encourage the creation of a centrist third party and also advocate for the expansion of participation in presidential debates by facilitating the entry of candidates from third parties.
In terms of Congressional reforms, we can preserve filibuster and impose restrictions on lobbying to eliminate vested interests. Regarding the judiciary, we are in favor of the Senate holding confirmation votes on all judges, ending life appointments to the Supreme Court and fixing the current size of the Supreme Court at its current composition of nine judges.
In addition to these structural changes, there are also legislative reforms that can encourage bipartite cooperation. These include criminal justice reforms that fund police services while reallocating resources when necessary, increasing federal funding for education, reforming the tax code to address business gaps, and creating a “Living wage”.
We issue a call to action for our leaders to come together to support a collective renewal of faith in our democracy and a new commitment to America’s founding ideals: freedom, equality, opportunity, free markets and rule of law.
It is only through this collective renewal that America will be able to protect our own democracy and ensure that global democratic values ââendure for generations to come.
Douglas E. Schoen and Carly Cooperman are pollsters and partners at New York-based public opinion firm Schoen Cooperman Research. They are co-authors of the forthcoming book “America: Unite or Die”.