As The United States Faces A “Rough Patch,” Biden Rallies Global Democracies


A few days before President Biden’s Summit for Democracy, a virtual gathering of more than 100 countries that began on Thursday morning, China’s foreign ministry issued a damning assessment on the American democratic system.

According to the Chinese article, the “gunshots and farce on Capitol Hill have clearly shown what lies behind the magnificent facade of the American-style democracy,” citing the Jan. 6 disturbance. The study stated that in a society where “money controls everything,” “entrenched political gridlock” makes government impossible.

In late November, a Russian foreign ministry spokesperson used a same dismissive tone.


“The United States claims the right to define who is and is not a democracy,” said the spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, according to the state news outlet Tass. “It appears to be cynical.” Given the situation of democracy and human rights in the United States and the West in general, I would say it seems sad.”

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The reaction of authoritarian states that were not invited to a summit gathering to defend democratic ideals is unsurprising.

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Even US authorities admit that political divisiveness, racial injustice and strife, voting rights limitations, and domestic extremism, among other concerns, are straining American democracy. Some activists are encouraging Mr. Biden to prioritize domestic issues before focusing on international issues.

“You can’t attempt to export and defend democracy worldwide if you can’t safeguard it at home,” said Cliff Albright, co-founder and executive director of the Black Voters Matter Fund, an Atlanta-based progressive organisation. “You can’t be the world’s firefighter while your house is on fire.”

This tension will hang over the two-day virtual summit of leaders from model democracies like Germany, Japan, and Sweden to nations with checkered histories like Georgia, Nigeria, and Pakistan. According to US authorities, the summit, which also includes journalists, civil society activists, and business executives, is intended to be a venue for democracies to exchange ideas and critiques. Participants will also make promises on issues like as political change, fraud, civil rights, and others.

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