Smart on Crime Innovations Conference WATCH LIVE

RELEASE: Albright, Murphy Say U.S. Reputation as Model for Democracy Has Suffered, Hindering Foreign Policy

Washington, D.C. — The United States must place democratic values at the heart of its foreign policy if it wants to strengthen democracy around the world and help other nations resist authoritarian influence, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told an audience Thursday at the Center for American Progress.

Albright and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) both spoke at an event releasing a major new CAP report that lays out the case for a democratic values-based U.S. foreign policy that makes defending democracy a national security priority. The report criticizes President Donald Trump for undermining democratic values and international rules that the United States has traditionally sought to uphold.

“We are exceptional,” Albright said. “We just can’t ask that exceptions be made for us. And so I think we need to reclaim it with some sense of humility that we do have something to offer if we work with other democracies.” Under the current administration, Albright said, the United States is not a good role model when it comes to forming coalitions with democratic partners and traditional allies.

“If the United States does not return as a partner with other democracies, then we really are in very serious trouble because there is no other specific leader,” Albright said.

Sen. Murphy, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Trump’s actions make it tougher to promote democracy abroad.

“When Trump lavishes praise upon dictators and insults democratically elected leaders, citizens of the world take notice and democratic movements die,” Murphy said. “We can’t talk about democracy promotion abroad if we’re not protecting it here at home.” The senator added that Trump’s words “are extinguishing democratic movements all over the world. Those movements now labor under the perception that there is little if any support coming from America.”

Click here to watch video of the event with Albright and Murphy.

Read the CAP report: “Securing a Democratic World: The Case for a Democratic Values-Based U.S. Foreign Policy,” by Kelly Magsamen, Max Bergmann, Michael Fuchs, and Trevor Sutton.

For more information, or to speak to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at shananel@americanprogress.org or 202-478-6327.