Former White House Adviser Says Trump Could Lead to 'Death' of Democracy in America

Former White House advisor David Gergen warned of the end of democracy if President Donald Trump continues to lie while whipping his power all over America’s laws.


“He’s as dismissive of truth as he is ethics,” said the advisor to multiple presidents across parties. “We could go on and on with this. One thing [that] was striking this week was a story on yesterday’s front page in the New York Times about the leader of Turkey who is giving speeches like this every day, two or three on national television. He pays no attention to facts. He maintains about 40 percent approval rating. Guess who else has about 40 percent? Donald Trump. It’s a device that works, up to a point. I’m sad to say it can lead to the diminishment of democracy, if not its death.”

CNN host Anderson Cooper followed up, asking if Gergen “really believes” Trump's actions could lead to the end of democracy.

“Yes, I do,” he replied.

“This book that’s out now called How Democracies Die is worth reading. It’s short and makes compelling points about how many [democratic countries] have become authoritarian countries and it’s happened again and again. In the last 20 years or so, it’s happened again and again when extremists come to office and carry their countries in that direction. When you don’t have the kind of restraint that a democracy needs, you can erode it badly. I think it’s becoming a threat. We’re not there by any means, but it is a threat. If we had this president and a couple more like him, I think we would be very close.”

David Axelrod, a former adviser to President Barack Obama, noted that he too is “deeply concerned about democracy,” not merely because of Trump’s behavior but the ways in which he is degrading democratic institutions.

Watch the full commentary below:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.