Former President Bill Clinton says he was “never” more concerned about the fate of American democracy than he is now.
“I actually think there’s a fair chance that we could lose our constitutional democracy completely for a few decades if we make bad decisions,” Clinton said. late late show host James Corden in an episode that airs Thursday. “I am not naive about this. I fought a lot. I lost some and gained a lot. I was elated and heartbroken. But I have never been more concerned about the structure of our democratic form of government.”
However, the former president said he hoped America would soon come to its senses.
“But until now, every time we faced our own demise, our conscience kicked in and we stepped off the brink,” he added. “And that’s about what I think will happen here, but I don’t know when or how. In the meantime, we just need to be vigilant, stand up for what we believe in and don’t answer hate with hate.”
The warning came as Congress continued its hearings on the January 6 U.S. Capitol uprising.
So far, the hearings have shown how Donald Trump and others like it Ginni Thomasthe wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas urged efforts to reverse the election result – as did Mike Pence warned it was unconstitutionalWhite House Attorneys called the plan “totally crazy”advisers told the president he hadn’t won, and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani was reportedly drunk on election nightwhat he denies.
While the events of January 6 in Washington are under a microscope, it is clear that Mr Trump’s repeated, false claim that the 2020 election was stolen has caught on.
Over 100 winners of the GOP primaries have endorsed these false, baseless claims†
Civil rights experts warn that American democracy is in a fragile state as acute problems such as the Capitol riots and the lies about Trump’s election collide with deeper problems such as racial inequality and gerrymandering.
In 2021, the US sank to a new low in Freedom House’s democracy rankings, putting it on a par with countries like Panama, Romania and Croatia and well below wealthier countries like the United Kingdom and Chile.
“It matters to Americans and it matters to the world because the United States is such a prominent, visible democracy, a democracy that is looked forward to for so many reasons,” Sarah Repucci, Freedom House vice president for research and analysis, told the guard†
“We are really concerned about these longer-term challenges that will not be addressed with quick fixes, which have emerged during the Trump administration and in some cases have been misused by that administration.” she added. “A change of president won’t make them disappear.”
A similar December 2021 study by the think tank International IDEA labeled the US a “falling democracy”, part of a global trend towards more authoritarian governance.
“What we’re seeing for the US is a decrease in effective parliament,” study author Annika Silva-Leander wrote told NPR . at the time†