Obama's failure of democracy: Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela, Iran, Cuba. @CRosett

Aug 11, 05:49 AM

AUTHOR.

(Photo:U.S. President Barack Obama sits with Cuban President Raul Castro at the Estadio Latinoamericano in Havana, Cuba, as he members of a U.S. delegation including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry attend an exhibition game on March 22, 2016, between the Cuban National Baseball Team and the Tampa Bay Rays. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

Date 22 March 2016, 12:55

Source President Obama With Cuban President Castro at Estadio Latinoamericano in Havana, Cuba

Author U.S. Department of State from United States )

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Obama's failure of democracy: Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela, Iran, Cuba. @CRosett

https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2018/08/10/one-president-responsible-americas-retreat-supporting-democracy-abroad-isnt-trump

One president is responsible for America's retreat from supporting democracy abroad, and it isn't Trump

by Claudia Rosett

More than a generation has passed since America hailed the 1991 Soviet collapse as the dawn of a new world order, wide open to the spread of freedom and democracy. That euphoria is long gone, replaced these days by apprehension. For years now, authoritarian rulers have been on a roll, with such aggressive dictatorships as China, Russia and Iran gaining military muscle, influence and turf. Around the globe, freedom and democracy have been broadly in decline.

Is there any serious chance that on President Donald Trump’s watch, these dismal trends might be stopped, or even reversed? Could his push to “Make America Great Again” conceivably catalyze a global comeback for democracy? The answer might surprise you.

It’s clear that to Trump’s more ardent critics, such questions are absurd. He’s a grandiose businessman from Queens, prone to hyperbole and rude toward many Washington totems. He appeals in the main to voters who would never think of applying for membership in the Council on Foreign Relations. In choosing the slogan “America First,” Trump adopted (whether he knew it or not) the phrase of 20th century isolationists who wanted to keep America out of the great and vital struggle for freedom that was World War II. How could such a president be good for American foreign policy?

In a column last month for The Dallas Morning News, the president of Washington-based Freedom House, Michael J. Abramowitz, and his colleague, Sarah N. Repucci, denounced Trump as a dictator-loving democracy-dismissing reinforcer of “neo-isolationism.” They were elaborating on a Freedom House report released in January that described democracy worldwide as not only in its 12th straight year of decline, but in accelerating “crisis,” with the acceleration due substantially to Trump. The report accused Trump of everything from “hostility and skepticism toward binding international agreements,” to abandoning America’s leadership of the free world, to rarely using the word “democracy” during his trips abroad.