America's Embrace of Democracy Abroad Matters at Home

In 1995, I left a secure position working on Capitol Hill and moved to Bratislava, the capital of the newborn Republic of Slovakia. Slovakia peacefully split with the Czech Republic in 1993, following the Velvet Revolution that ended communist control of Czechoslovakia in 1989.As a new nation with no real history of self-government, Slovakia faced a rocky road in building a democracy. The government that was freely elected in 1994 was rapidly taking on the form of an autocracy, lashing out at the political opposition, the media, ethnic minorities and the church.I spent the next seven years working for an American nongovernmental organization on projects to help the Slovaks develop their democracy. And the American taxpayers paid for it.American organizations, both public and private, have worked for decades to support democratic development, free markets and human rights overseas. While these conditions undoubtedly benefit the citizens of other nations, they also benefit Americans at home.  Continue reading...

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