“Democratic governance is in high demand, according to the 2021 edition of the annual Democracy Perception Index, a poll of more than 50,000 people in 53 nations. But it’s also perceived to be threatened—by economic inequality, by suppression of free speech, by big tech companies, by unfair or corrupted elections, and by the United States of America.
44 percent of the respondents are worried the United States threatens democracy in their home countries. By contrast, 38 percent said that about China and 28 percent about Russia. The U.S. was deemed the biggest threat of the three in free and unfree nations alike. It was the top pick in Europe and Latin America, and it nearly tied with China for this dishonor in Asia. Only a few African nations were polled, not enough for a regional average, but the U.S. was the most widely selected threat there, too.”
“Perhaps the United States is seen as a threat to other nations’ democracy because our government is often less an exemplar of liberty than a belligerent global meddler. Perhaps it’s because Washington has spent the past two decades invading and occupying large swaths of the Middle East and North Africa. Perhaps it’s because our leaders’ diplomacy is frequently ham-fisted, hubristic, and naïve. Perhaps it’s because Washington has literally overthrown democratic governments and has a unique—and risky—network of hundreds of military bases worldwide.”