Democracy declined in the United States last year, according to an annual report published Wednesday. Erosion of trust in the country's institutions is the culprit behind the reported decline.
An annual ranking conducted by The Economist's Intelligence Unit found the United States ranked 25th on the list of most democratic nations. It's the same ranking the U.S. held last year, but the country's score fell further as a result of the continuing loss of trust in the nation's institutions.
According to the report, the overall U.S. score was 7.92 in 2020, down from 7.96 the year before. The index calculates the score "based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties." The report also classifies countries into "one of four types of regime: 'full democracy,' 'flawed democracy,' 'hybrid regime' or 'authoritarian regime.'" The annual report demoted the United States in 2016 from a "full democracy" to a "flawed democracy."
"The US’s overall performance is held back by a number of weaknesses, including extremely low levels of trust in institutions and political parties; deep dysfunction in the functioning of government; increasing threats to freedom of expression; and a degree of societal polarisation that makes consensus on any issue almost impossible to achieve," the report stated.
The global democracy score average fell to its lowest point since the annual report was first published in 2016. "[G]overnment-imposed restrictions on individual freedom and civil liberties that occurred across the globe in response to the coronavirus pandemic" was blamed for the decline.
"Across the world in 2020, citizens experienced the biggest rollback of individual freedoms ever undertaken by governments during peacetime," the report stated. "Most people concluded, on the basis of the evidence about a new, deadly disease, that preventing a catastrophic loss of life justified a temporary loss of freedom."
Norway topped the list, followed closely by Iceland and Sweden. Countries that beat out the U.S. include Costa Rica, Mauritius, Spain, and Uruguay.
Trust in U.S. institutions will likely erode further as Big Tech censors conservatives, the mainstream media treats Biden like a child, and freedoms continue to be sacrificed in the name of public safety.