What the world could lose in America’s presidential election

By Fred Hiatt Editorial Page Editor, The Washington Post

The presidential election could be crucial to the future of democracy, and not just in the United States. The global impact of a Donald Trump presidency would be disastrous. But even a Hillary Clinton win won’t help reverse the worldwide retrenchment in democracy and human rights unless she brings a change in policy from the current administration .

If all of that strikes you as a bit too breathless, consider what’ s happened over the past decade.

The leading authoritarian powers of the world — China, Russia and Iran — have tightened the screws at home while becoming far more aggressive beyond their boundaries. They have proven that the Internet , contrary to earlier expectation , can be turned into a weapon of control. They have proven , again contrary to earlier assumptions, that a country can enter the global economy while squelching free speech, worship and assembly at home . They have formed a loose dictators’ alliance , working together to undermine and discredit the principles of liberal economics and individual rights .

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