STOCKHOLM, Swe. (WTVO) — For the first time, the U.S. has been added to an annual list of “backsliding” democracies.
The list, which was released Monday by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, said that the country had fallen “victim to authoritarian tendencies” in recent years, according to the Huffington Post. The report cited voter disenchantment, election disinformation and the COVID-19 pandemic as contributing factors for the decline.
America’s decline followed a five-year trend that has been seen globally.
“More than two-thirds of the world’s population now live in backsliding democracies or autocratic regimes,” the 2021 Global State of Democracy report said. “The world is becoming more authoritarian as non-democratic regimes become even more brazen in their repression.”
Former President Donald Trump was cited in the report, with his claims on the illegitimacy of the 2020 election being called a “a historic turning point” in the damaged public trust of elections, which has been a growing theme.
“Trump’s baseless allegations during the 2020 US presidential election have had spillover effects, including in Brazil, Mexico, Myanmar and Peru, among others,” the report said. “Baseless allegations of electoral fraud and related disinformation undermined fundamental trust in the electoral process, which culminated in the storming of the US Capitol building in January 2021.”
In addition, the report cited that new voting access laws and voter registration, like ones that have gained approval in Florida, Georgia, Arizona and Texas, have disproportionately harmed minorities’ right to vote.
The spread of vaccine misinformation in the COVID-19 pandemic has harmed democratic rights on a global scale, according to the report. It said that it this has not only prolonged the pandemic, but has also made restrictions on basic freedoms a normality. The report cited instances in the U.S. of medical professionals being ordered not speak to journalists about issues in the field that regarded dealing with the pandemic, or else they could be fired.