There was plenty of hand wringing over the state of democracy at home and abroad in 2022. Extremists appeared poised to sabotage elections in the U.S., a leading index found half of democratic governments around the world in decline, and Russia’s war against Ukraine placed liberty under direct assault.
Yet 2022 was also the year “the good guys struck back,” as Michael Hirsh wrote in Foreign Policy. Ukrainian forces have thrown Russia on the defensive. Extremist candidates lost in Brazil, France, and in key U.S. midterm contests. In Kenya, the Philippines and elsewhere, elections ended not in chaos, as predicted, but in peaceful transfers of power. In China and Iran, average citizens are rising up.
In the U.S., the House select committee’s investigation of the January 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol elevated truth over disinformation, and helped trigger a fundamental shift away from extremism, and from the “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen.