A Pernicious Myth Exposed for What It Is

Xi-Jinping has tightened centrist control of China. Putin has become the de facto dictator of Russia. Other power-hungry heads of state like Bolsonaro (Brazil), Modi (India), Erdogan (Turkey) and Orban (Hungary) have transitioned the governments of their countries away from democracy and toward authoritarian rule. Aspiring right-wing authoritarian power seekers and their allies in the United States have observed these developments with interest and included in their propagandistic mix of rhetoric the claim that authoritarian governments, unhindered by a plethora of regulations and weakened by concerns about the general welfare, the common good, health, safety, civil rights, and human rights, are far more efficient than democracies. They have strived to instill in the minds of voters that America will be condemned to weakness if we don’t follow the example of autocratic leaders. Putin’s monumental blunder in invading Ukraine and the demonstrated incompetence of Russia’s military are exposing the myth that democracy is weak and that autocracy is strong and discrediting the blustering pernicious people who have purveyed it.