The history of failed democracies is replete with one lesson above all others: In times of crisis, it is up to leaders committed to our democratic values to walk democracy back from the brink — and to put the constitution and the country above narrow partisan considerations, according to Joe Goldman, the president of Democracy Fund, New America’s Lee Drutman, and Larry Diamond, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.
Our research indicates that the United States needs exactly that kind of leadership today. Failure to act decisively now could result in a democratic crisis from which our republic may not recover, they write for The Hill:
In this environment, a recent survey of 5,900 Americans conducted by the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group should ring alarm bells about the fragility of our democracy….We recommend that leaders in both parties agree now on standards for a legitimate election and establish a specialized panel of experts to weigh in on potential claims of fraud, suppression and interference. Political leaders from both parties also must forcefully push back on rhetoric that needlessly undermines trust in the process. In the middle of a pandemic, the response should not be a subject of partisan dispute.