New York Post, March 30, 2023
by James Bovard
Sounding like a Quaalude Savior, President Biden droned to foreign leaders Wednesday about how he’ll rescue world democracy.
Suffering from a cold, Biden recited the “inflection point of history” cliché he hustled at the first Summit for Democracy in December 2021.
Biden promised that “we’re seeing real indicatiors [sic]” that “we are turning the tide” in favor of democracy around the globe.
Practically no one not on Biden’s payroll agrees.
Democracy last year “declined around the world for the 17th consecutive year,” per Freedom House.
Twice as many nations are veering “toward authoritarianism” as toward democracy, The Economist says.
Most shocking: America is now categorized as less free than Mongolia, Mauritius and 56 other nations, according to Freedom House (funded by the US government).
Despite Biden’s bluster, even US government officials fear the summit will be an “inconsequential talk shop,” reports The Washington Post.
Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass scoffed, “The Summit for Democracy is a bad idea that won’t go away.”
Team Biden believes a big problem with democracy is that politicians don’t have enough power — “weak state capacity.”
In reality, elected rulers around the globe are turning themselves into dictators who increasingly repress their citizens.
Biden’s endless edicts set a terrible example for other democratic leaders.
Federal judges up to the Supreme Court have struck down Biden’s eviction moratorium for deadbeat renters, his $400 billion cancellation of federal student debt, his “climate change” decree shutting down power plants, his mask mandate for airline passengers and his edict compelling all employees of large companies and federal employees to get COVID vaccine injections.
But “leashing politicians” is not on the Biden Bingo Card for Saving Democracy.
The American Bar Association recently warned “the Rule of Law is in Decline Globally,” but it’s “not a central focus of the U.S. Government’s approach” on democracy.
Three-quarters of nations — representing almost 85% of the world’s population — “experienced declines in rule of law,” the World Justice Project found.
In lieu of “government under the law,” Team Biden offers “the People Centered Justice Multistakeholder Cohort’s Declaration and Call to Action.”
How about some Biden-style censorship to save democracy?
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will sermonize on a “Countering the Rise of Digital Authoritarianism” panel.
He will be joined by YouTube CEO Neal Mohan, who can boast of how Washington censors his channel.
An internal DHS document reveals plans to crack down on “inaccurate” information on “the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, racial justice, U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan” and other topics. Any facts that embarrass Team Biden are automatically “inaccurate” and ripe for suppression.
As part of its summit festivities, the Biden administration announced new crackdowns to make it “more difficult for corrupt actors to conceal their identities, assets, and criminal activities.”
Unless their last name is Biden.
But another handout will fix that problem. Team Biden is bankrolling foreign journalists to fight “kleptocracy” — government of thieves. There is even an aid program entitled “Empowering the TruthTellers.” (Julian Assange need not apply.)
The Biden administration claims to support “independent media” by effectively putting foreign journalists on the US payroll.
Is there no shame?
Besides, America is no role model: It ranks a pathetic #42 in Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index, worse than Moldova and Guyana.
Biden-style democracy requires endless dictates and meddling in Americans’ lives.
A White House Fact Sheet on its “Abiding Commitment to Democratic Renewal at Home and Abroad” asserts Biden is safeguarding democracy with “expanded rights and protections for transgender Americans,” “taking on the discredited practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy’” and “strengthening resources and protecting for LGBTQI+ children in America’s public schools.”
What does permitting teenage boys to compete against girls in sports have to do with democracy?
Biden portrays himself and his administration as role models for world democracy. He boasted that in the November midterms, “Voters resoundingly and roundly rejected the voices of extremism attacking and undermining our democracy.”
Except for Biden’s own speeches denouncing Republicans as “semi-fascists” and echoing color themes last seen at a Nuremberg rally?
Unfortunately, the Pentagon missed the memo on democracy. Since 2008, foreign soldiers who received training from the US military “attempted at least nine coups (and succeeded in at least eight) across five West African countries,” journalist Nick Turse reported.
The Pentagon denies responsibility for the debacles.
But as Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) declared at a congressional hearing last week, “I think we should at least know how many countries we train the coup plotters in.”
Will comic relief redeem the summit?
The State Department wants Americans to make short videos with the hashtag #SummitForDemocracy whooping up “What has democracy made possible in your own life?”
Such as falling living standards, soaring inflation, sporadic financial panic and a befuddled commander-in-chief who doesn’t know if he is in Canada or China?
Another world summit won’t restore the legitimacy of elected rulers who trample their laws and constitutions.
“Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner,” as I wrote long ago in the Clinton Golden Era of Democracy.
James Bovard is the author of 10 books and a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors.