A new report on freedom and democracy found that President Trump has shown “less respect” for U.S.constitutional system of principles and norms than any other president in America’s “living memory.”
Newsweek reported that Freedom House released its annual Freedom in the World report on Tuesday. Freedom House is funded by the U.S. government and researches and advocates for democracy, political freedom, and human rights. The report points to a global decline in democracy for the 13th consecutive year.
President of the Freedom House, Mike Abramowitz, targeted Trump in his introduction to the report.
“There remains little question that President Trump exerts an influence on American politics that is straining our core values and testing the stability of our constitutional system. No president in living memory has shown less respect for its tenets, norms and principles,” Abramowitz wrote. “Trump has assailed essential institutions and traditions, including the separation of powers, a free press, an independent judiciary, the impartial delivery of justice, safeguards against corruption and most disturbingly, the legitimacy of elections.”
Abramowitz also found fault with Congress for not doing enough to push back against Trump. He did clarify that U.S. democracy was already in decline before the Trump presidency. He used examples such as George W. Bush’s surveillance program and Obama’s “overzealous crackdown on press leaks.”
Trump has attacked the nation’s judiciary, and has been accused of obstructing justice. He has attacked the media with the term “fake news.” More, he has elevated allegations of voter fraud in order to undermine U.S. democracy, when in fact, reports have shown that fraud was relatively non-existent.
“The continuing deterioration of U.S. democracy will hasten the ongoing decline in global democracy,” Abramowitz said. “Indeed, it has already done so.”
The report pointed to the rise of authoritarian leaders and the faltering of countries who have been moving toward democracy as proof of the declining freedoms and democracy.
“Most troublingly, even long-standing democracies have been shaken by populist political forces that reject basic principles like the separation of powers and target minorities for discriminatory treatment,” the report said.