Our democracy is facing threats we haven’t seen in generations. Protect Democracy is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting efforts, at home and abroad, to undermine our right to free, fair, and fully informed self-government.
Washington, DC – EIN 814777062 protectdemocracy.org
American democracy is in danger.
The growth and spread of democracies that defined the 20th century peaked in the early days of the 21st. Over the past decade, one in six democracies has failed. In countries around the world-places like Hungary, Poland, Turkey, and Venezuela-autocrats have slowly dismantled democratic systems, leaving governments that are for the most part democracies in name only.
Freedom House: U.S. freedom in decline
While the story of the United States has been one of constantly seeking to perfect an imperfect democracy, for most of our history we moved as a nation towards delivering democracy’s promise to more and more of our union. In recent years, however, this progress has stalled and reversed. The global autocratic threat has arrived on our shores and our democracy is facing challenges not seen in decades, perhaps longer. Recent years have been marked by deeply concerning presidential abuses of power, deliberate efforts by political leaders to stoke hatred, racism, and misogyny, and failures of our system of checks and balances that have sounded a powerful alarm that–if we are not careful–our democracy could suffer a similar fate.
Trump is a symptom, not the cause
Donald Trump is not and never was the sole cause of America’s democratic crisis. His rise to power was a symptom of political forces that are eroding support for democracy at home and abroad. Long before Trump’s election, economic and demographic changes led to growing social divisions, and technology began to reshape how we communicate, helping us filter ourselves into separate ideological and demographic bubbles.
The weaknesses in our system of constitutional checks and balances pre-date the Trump administration and will continue unless we take affirmative steps to reinforce our democracy.
Checks and balances are a metaphor, not a mechanism
It has become painfully clear that the long-standing guardrails that constrained past presidents from abusing executive power have turned out to be only as strong as the personal qualities and norms of the oval office occupant.
Moving forward, the greatest threat to our democracy would be to wipe our hands of the problems that have been exposed in our system, leaving us vulnerable to Trump 2.0: the person watching all of this from the sidelines, recognizing that the American electorate is open to a strongman style of governance, but who is more capable than Trump and will rise in time to implement an autocratic model even more effectively.
If we don’t take action, we risk further weakening our system of checks and balances and putting our democracy at risk of declining into a more autocratic form of government.
Protect Democracy formed to prevent that decline from happening. We are committed to restoring our checks and balances and building a stronger, more inclusive democracy
WASHINGTON, DC 20006-1811 | Tax-exempt since Aug. 2017
Classification (NTEE) Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy)
Nonprofit Tax Code Designation: 501(c)(3) Defined as: Organizations for any of the following purposes: religious, educational, charitable, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition (as long as it doesn’t provide athletic facilities or equipment), or the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.
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