Data from the Center for Systemic Peace, a not-for-profit that monitors political behavior in each of the world’s major states and uses scientific research and quantitative analysis to examine emerging issues and persisting conditions in countries, finds the United States no longer qualifies as a democracy, following the Trump years.
Today, America is technically defined as an anocracy – a form of government that is loosely defined as part democracy and part dictatorship, or as a regime that mixes democratic with autocratic features.
And unfortunately, the data used to determine the above finding is based not on sentiment but on hardcore metrics, markers, and analytics the U.S typically uses to determine the strength of other countrys’ democracies and proximity to upheaval.
Barbara F. Walter, Ph.D., a professor of political science at UC San Diego and an expert on international security with an emphasis on civil wars, unleashed some frightening details when interviewed by CNN last week.
“I’ve been studying civil wars for the last 30 years around the globe and, in fact, I’ve been on a task force run by the CIA that tries to predict where outside the U.S. a civil war, political violence or instability is likely to break out,” Walter offered.
“We actually know now that the two best predictors of whether violence is likely to happen are 1) whether a country is an anocracy, and that’s a fancy term for a partial democracy and 2) whether ethic entrepreneurs have emerged in a country that are using racial, religious or ethnic divisions to try to gain political power.”
“And the amazing thing about the United States is that both of these factors currently exist and they have emerged at a surprisingly fast rate.”
“The United States is pretty close to being at high risk of civil war. And once a country is at high risk the task force puts it on what we call a Watch List; Countries that the agency wants to watch very closely because they believe sometime in the next few years that country is at high risk of descent into instability or political violence.
“…The United States has been declining as a democracy for the last 5 years on EVERY measure. There are multiple different data sets that measure democracy in various, different ways and all of them have shown America in decline.”
“And, in fact, the main measure the task force uses to predict political violence comes from the data set called the Polity Data Set. They have actually classified the US for the very first time as an anocracy (a hybrid democracy/autocracy) – Not a full democracy…”
“…[The U.S.] is no longer considered on par with countries like Switzerland, Canada, Denmark, or Japan.”
“We are no longer considered the world’s longest democracy. That ended in January.”
Perhaps the biggest problem today, as it relates to division, is Americans live in vastly different realities.
Due to the Internet and the growth of social media, Americans are getting access to all kinds of information and misinformation, and largely believe what they want to. And if the facts don’t fit their narrative, some simply cover their ears, walk away, stop consuming the information, or label the data as “fake.”
For better or worse, social media gives a lot of undeserving people a platform to spew their nonsensical rhetoric and conspiracy theories.
And despite the often-groundless claims made by illegitimate news sources, they often succeed in tapping into the biggest fears and insecurities of the most vulnerable in society.
As a result, a lot of people have very different, sometimes jaded views of America and, quite possibly, the world.
How close is America to a second civil war? And do you agree the country is no longer a full-fledged democracy?Tags: democracy, Predictions / Odds