Why democracy support matters (and is not interference)


Cynics believe America’s global engagement is similar to what adversaries like China and Russia do, feeding the perception that the United States and Russia are the same on election interference, notes Chris Walsh, a senior program manager for the George W. Bush Institute’s Human Freedom and Women’s Initiative.

While the United States has been far from perfect, such comparisons distort present-day realities. Authoritarian powers threaten the liberal democratic order that has provided seven decades of relative peace and prosperity. A new paper from the George W. Bush Institute, “Choose Freedom“, makes this point, arguing that American global leadership in concert with democratic allies and the expansion of free societies is the best antidote to that danger, he writes for The Hill:

On the Strategerist podcast, the Alliance for Securing Democracy’s Laura Rosenberger made three distinctions between U.S. democracy support and authoritarian efforts to undermine it, Walsh ads:

  • First, American assistance engages in other countries openly and transparently.
  • Secondly, support is made available to parties across the political spectrum if they are committed to the democratic process.
  • And third, U.S. policy strives to give people a voice in determining their country’s future. RTWT

In 2019, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) made 1,684 grants to support the projects of NGOs abroad who are working for democratic goals supporting human rights, civic education, independent media, free and fair elections, rule of law, free markets, free trade unions, and fighting corruption. In the above video, NED looks back on the year to remember some of NED’s accomplishments and to honor friends, colleagues, and defenders of democracy  sadly lost in 2019.


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