I’m grateful for the freedom to criticize my president’s words in praise of Vladimir Putin at the Helsinki Summit. It’s a freedom that Russia’s citizens do not equally enjoy.
I don’t fault a US president for meeting with authoritarian leaders. But I do fault them when they do so to praise them and imply that they’re envious of their unchecked power.
Call me old fashioned, but I think that liberal democracy is a better form of government than authoritarianism and worth defending and fighting for, both at home and abroad.
I used to think that despite our partisan differences, we all agreed on basic fundamentals like democracy > authoritarianism. I don’t think a candid read of the evidence can support that view any longer.
Our president clearly and openly minimizes the importance of democratic institutions and norms while praising strongman dictators. One party mostly gives him a pass, and the other says we need to focus on economic issues over presidential scandals/drama.
As a Millennial, I didn’t grow up with the cultural memory of WW2, the Cold War, or the Berlin Wall. I took liberal democracy as a given and for granted in my country. I suppose every generation has to learn anew why democracy, despite its flaws, is worth defending.