Fareed Zakaria says that inspite of what Biden is doing, America is not back yet. The Trump years have stained America’s democratic image in the world. Fareed says in his Washington Post column:
But the story is not entirely positive. One aspect of the United States’ power remains substantially diminished: its role as a beacon of democracy. Among countries surveyed, 57 percent of people said the United States is no longer the model for democracy it used to be. Young people worldwide are even more skeptical about America’s democratic institutions.
In one fundamental way, things look worse now than in prior periods of crisis. After Watergate, many were surprised that the world looked up to the United States for facing and fixing its democratic failures. It was a sign of the country’s capacity to course-correct. But imagine if after that scandal, the Republican Party, instead of condemning Nixon, had embraced him slavishly, insisted that he did absolutely nothing wrong, settled into denial and obstructionism and proposed new laws to endorse Nixon’s most egregious conduct? Imagine if the only people purged by the party had been those who criticized Nixon?
The decay of American democracy is real. It’s not a messaging or image problem. Until we can repair that, I’m not sure we can truly say America is back.