Democracy Summit or Cold War pep rally?
Biden’s Democracy Summit would have been laughable if it wasn’t so threatening to world peace, vaccine cooperation, and climate reform. It had little to do with spreading democracy which this country has never spread to all its citizens and instead was seen by many countries as a Cold War pep rally forcing them to choose sides between China and the U.S.
What was supposed to be the crown jewel of Biden’s global democracy agenda, instead turned the world’s spotlight on a rising anti-democratic tide here in the U.S., marked by a roll-back of voting rights for people of color, the criminalization of women needing abortions, a right-wing takeover of the Supreme Court, and a violent fascist coup attempt on January 6th.
The Summit convened while U.S. warships including nuclear subs were entering the South China Sea, Biden was finalizing a $650 arms deal with Saudi Arabia, and Georgia Republicans were purging Black Democrats from local election boards.
The Summit’s coup de grâce was the Taiwan map debacle where a video presentation by a Taiwanese minister was cut by U.S. minders after a map in her slide presentation showed Taiwan in a different color to China.
What a mess.
Debasish Roy Chowdhury, co-author of To Kill A Democracy
No matter how much the White House talks about democracy, the gathering is really about creating a coalition against China and Russia. Think the QUAD alliance, but on an industrial scale. — Time Magazine
Cliff Albright, executive director of the Black Voters Matter Fund
“You can’t try to export and defend democracy globally when you can’t protect it domestically. You can’t be the global fireman when your house is on fire.” — New York Times
Rachel Kleinfeld, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
“American democracy at home and global democracy abroad are in dire need of strategy, of improvement, because both are facing swift recession. But a summit is not a strategy. In fact, a summit has been a distraction.” — MSN
Marc Morial, President of the National Urban League
He called the summit “a missed opportunity.” “You cannot separate what’s going on globally with what’s going on in the United States.” — New York Times
Bruce Jentleson, former Obama/Clinton foreign-policy adviser
“The threats to democracy are much less from the autocracies than the ability of democracies to make our systems work,” noting that although external threats such as disinformation campaigns are real, “the receptivity to that is because our systems aren’t working.” — The Atlantic
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