The leadership of the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law would like to express its horror and dismay at the violent attack on Congress that occurred on January 6, as well as the effort by certain members of Congress to overturn the free and fair election that took place on Nov. 3. These acts did not occur spontaneously; they were inspired by one man, Donald J. Trump, President of the United States.
CDDRL has been dedicated since its founding more than fifteen years ago to the comparative study of democracy, as well as to the training and cultivation of students and future leaders who would work to build strong democratic institutions around the world. As the global democratic recession deepened, we realized that one of the biggest threats to democratic norms was emerging here in the United States, particularly after the election of Donald Trump and the populist movement he nurtured. We make this observation not as political partisans, but as observers of comparative democratic systems. We see today in our country a deterioration of democratic practices, such as the willingness to peacefully accede to the transfer of power after an election, that we have deplored in other new and transitioning democracies. The United States is setting a terrible example for the rest of the world, and all of us face a huge challenge in trying to re-construct democratic institutions at home.
The faculty and staff of CDDRL look forward to taking up this challenge, and hope that in the coming years we can contribute to it, so that the United States of America can at some point return to being a positive inspiration to the rest of the world.
Associate Director for Research