A Cartoon to Ponder

From the Freedom House "Freedom in the World 2019" report.


Presented without comment.

FILED UNDER: World Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Neil Hudelson says:

    Three or so years later, it’s still incredibly shocking to see Aung San Suu Kyi counted among the world’s most morally corrupt leaders. I mean, it’s accurate, just shocking.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    trump isn’t just roasting marshmallows, he too is adding fuel to the fire.

    But otherwise, yeah.

    ETA @Neil Hudelson: It is a surprise.

    ETA2 Xi, Bolsinaro, and Duterte are missing. Come to think of it, so is Mohdi.

  3. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    My favorite part is that Trump isn’t just roasting a marshmallow, he has TWO marshmallows. As Limbaugh said…a real man…

  4. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    The Nobel Peace Prize is pretty much an anti-award at this point.

  5. Kathy says:

    Are we supposed to make out Bibi hiding somewhere in the drawing?

  6. 95 South says:

    2019 Freedom House Report:
    Saudi Arabia…..7

  7. @95 South: Exactly–the US, which has traditionally been pro-global democracy is doing very little at the moment to deal with the growing influence of those low aggregate freedom score countries.

    It is actively encouraging SA, Russia, Turkey, and Hungary.

    The administration’s policies toward Iran are encouraging, not discouraging, more autocracy.

    The Venezuela policy is pointless and feckless.

    I am unaware of policy towards Myanmar.

    China policy is a bit of a mess, but not radically different than previous admins.

  8. BTW, the US score in aggregate freedom has declined from a 96 in 2009 to an 84 in 2018. It dipped under 90 under the current administration.

  9. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Sort of like the Medal of Freedom.

  10. An Interested Party says:

    @95 South: Awwwww, that’s so cute how you tried to prove that Trump doesn’t belong in the same category as these other thugs from around the world…well, maybe that wasn’t your goal, but if it was, you failed miserably…

  11. Kurtz says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I was just about to post the US Freedom House numbers from before. I had looked at them recently.

    Instead, I will point this one.

    This is The Economist Intelligence Unit’s measure. It asseses political process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties.

    Norway (US)

    Rank: 1 (25)
    Overall: 9.87 (7.96)
    Process and Pluralism: 10 (9.17)
    Functioning of Gov: 9.64 (7.14)
    Political Participation: 10 (7.78)
    Political Culture: 10 (7.5)
    Civil Liberties: 9.71 (8.24)
    Gov type: Full Democracy (Flawed Democracy)

    Trump said he wants immigrants from countries like Norway. He better get crackin’.

  12. @Kurtz: Yep. I was doing some research and looking at several democracy indices yesterday (I was looking at Latin America, not the US) but was struck how the US has moved downward/included in the decline of democracy discussions.

  13. SC_Birdflyte says:

    One fairly obvious, but unsettling, thought comes to mind: our belief that the U.S. is “a shining city on a hill” was formulated in the days before Al-Qaeda showed us we aren’t as immune from having horrors inflicted on us at home. 9/11 showed that we can, in fact, be scared into giving up some of our supposedly cherished liberties. Also, there’s the half-century GOP war on a free press; it’s now paying real dividends.

  14. dazedandconfused says:

    There is certainly some truth in it but IMO Trump’s agenda is neither pro nor anti freedom. He cares nothing for either. The model that best predicts and describes Trump’s actions is abject self-interest. Trump is now in a position of power so he naturally seeks absolute power. This also makes Trump inordinately easy to manipulate for Putin, et al, and as real statesmen are expert practitioners of that art.