Democracy is an ideology that has long endured dating back since the B.C. era and even though it has existed for a long period of time not everyone has had the chance to experience democracy. In troubled nations people live a lifetime without feeling any democracy or any sense of freedom for that matter. We often take our freedom for granted by not realizing that other nations have it much harder.
An issue we often see these days is democratic erosion. This is a constant pattern and Bermeo best describes a, “it denotes the state-led debilitation or elimination of any of the political institutions that sustain an existing democracy” (Bermeo). Even though democracy is the fundamental belief present its norms are still vulnerable to being violated. There are many ways in which democracy can be infringed that one popular method is with excessive power being given to the executive which then leads to a series of making unconstitutional laws and decisions. Other ways democracy is violated is when basic rights are being stripped away or controlled and this can be demonstrated when elections and freedoms of speech are disrupted not once, not twice, but rather constantly.
Peru has suffered a loss of democracy in recent years due to civil rights being violated with the act of discrimination. In Peru, there are different forms of discrimination, racial and infringement of rights. For a long period of time Afro-Peruvians and those of LGBT have suffered the loss of being treated equally, and those of LGBT “face discrimination, hostility, and violence” (freedom house). Though there are laws in Peru that claim equality towards that is not true. Discrimination is inevitable and it’s here in the United States, “The year’s deadliest shooting was an August attack at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, that killed 22 people. The perpetrator, who was arrested, was apparently influenced by racist and xenophobic conspiracy theories and deliberately targeted a store frequented by Mexican and Mexican American customers. Even though there are laws that ensure equality such as the civil rights act of 1964 not everyone follows that law which leads to democratic erosion. Another infringement in freedom in Peru is with sex trafficking that involves women and children. Though Peru and the United States are considered free there are going to be certain aspects that lead to democratic erosion.
In the podcast by Dave Davies, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt bring an overview of democracies fall and how its due to the power given to the executive branch, Levitsky and Ziblatt mention two methods to protect democracy and that is mutual toleration and forbearance, and I completely agree. With propaganda many citizens cannot seem to acknowledge the fact that democratic erosion has been brought by Trump here in the United States, and I just find it unbelievable that many people ignore facts that show how he has defied democracy. We can only hope for a better future where democracy is restored but as of right now, we cannot let the government, or anyone take away our rights that are proclaimed in the constitution. Democratic erosion seems inevitable but not preventable.
Democratic erosion can be seen in many countries today but is not an issue discussed frequently in the news. For example, Thailand is experiencing democratic erosion due to failed regimes that have promised to fix the Thai government. There have been multiple protests this year over demands of the current Prime Minister to resign. Citizens feel that the PM is corrupt and is taking advantage of the power he holds. During these protests the Royal Thai Police have been sent to control citizens, which has ended up with citizens being killed and many others left injured.
Democratic erosion is a global issue that, in my opinion, should be discussed more when dealing with foreign policy. If a democracy, such as Thailand, fails in one region of the world it could affect neighboring countries that are also experiencing democratic erosion. For example, Cambodia is a neighboring country of Thailand that is also experiencing democratic erosion. If Thailand fell to communism or a dictatorship, it’s very possible for that influence to spread to Cambodia and take over its democracy as well.