“Starting in about 2005, the number of democracies around the world began to fall, as it had in the 1930s. Authoritarians rose to power: Vladimir Putin in Russia, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey, Viktor Orbán in Hungary, Jarosław Kaczyński in Poland, Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, and Donald J. Trump in the United States.

“American democracy in the 21st century is withering.

“The Democracy Index rates a hundred and sixty-seven countries, every year, on a scale that ranges from ‘full democracy’ to ‘authoritarian regime.’ In 2006, the U.S. was a ‘full democracy,’ the seventeenth most democratic nation in the world. In 2016, the index for the first time rated the United States a ‘flawed democracy,’ and since then American democracy has gotten only more flawed.

“True, the United States still doesn’t have a Rome or a Berlin to march on. That hasn’t saved the nation from misinformation, tribalization, domestic terrorism, human-rights abuses, political intolerance, social-media mob rule, white nationalism, a criminal President, the nobbling of Congress, a corrupt Presidential Administration, assaults on the press, crippling polarization, the undermining of elections, and an epistemological chaos that is the only air that totalitarianism can breathe.”

— excerpted from a New Yorker piece titled “The Last Time Democracy Almost Died — Learning from the upheaval of the 1930s,” written by Jill Lepore and posted on 1.27.20.