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 .