Democracy is at a crossroads at home and abroad. The collapse of faith in democratic institutions, the global decline of democracy and the rising appeal of authoritarian models like China’s should give all Americans pause. Unfortunately, President Trump is pouring gasoline on the fire—bashing allied democratic leaders like Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, while expressing admiration for authoritarians like Russian President Vladimir Putin, attacking democratic institutions and values at home, and putting his own interests above those of the nation.
America has faced moments like this before. In 1941, President Roosevelt famously issued a call to democratic arms in his “Four Freedoms” speech before Congress—a speech that connected the security of American democracy to the state of democracy abroad. And just as President Roosevelt made clear in 1941, today American national security will also depend on the strength of our own democracy. If we cannot make our democracy work better for every American—one that inspires admiration for and trust in our values—we face a world where another, more autocratic model might prevail.This article was originally published in Crooked Media.