The masthead of the Washington Post carries an ominous warning these days: “Democracy Dies In Darkness”. Not a simple declaration like “All the News That’s Fit to Print”, which the New York Times carries in its masthead, or this newspaper’s “Let Truth Prevail”. The Post is asking its readers to watch out. Current trends may be a looming portent for democracy.
Several intellectuals and scholars in the US and across the world have in recent times written and spoken about an ongoing decay of democracy. Some are centrist liberals, others are moderate conservatives. They all warn that democracy in today’s political climate is less threatened by outright fascist dictators than by populist authoritarians who sap democracy stealthily while capturing power by working within the parameters of electoral democracy.This article was originally published in The Times of India.