If there's one big loser this year, it might be democracy. For one, Donald Trump will become president despite overwhelmingly losing the popular vote. And the future isn't looking so bright either: Millennials, most of whom supported Hillary Clinton, aren't even fans of democracy. According to an upcoming research paper, only 30 percent of millennials believe that it's "essential" to live in a democracy.
The New York Times reports that political scientists Yascha Mounk of Harvard and Robert Stefan Foa of the University of Melbourne in Australia have studied democracies and how people feel about them—and it's not looking good. In an upcoming article in The Journal of Democracy, the duo describes the growing lack of faith in democracy, which they call "democratic deconsolidation."
The findings are troubling:
Across numerous countries, including Australia, Britain, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States, the percentage of people who say it is “essential” to live in a democracy has plummeted, and it is especially low among younger generations.
That's right, less than 30 percent of American millennials believe it's "essential" to live in a democracy—compared to 72 percent of those born before World War II.
Furthermore, 1 in 6 Americans believe that army rule would be "good" or "very good," compared to 1 in 16 in 1995. Previously, the researchers found that 43 percent of older Americans said it'd be illegitimate for the military to take over the government if the government wasn't doing its job—only 19 percent of millennials said the same.
An increasing number of Americans believe that democracy is a "bad" political system for the country. In 1995, just 16 percent of Americans in their late teens and early 20s thought democracy is a bad political system, compared to almost a quarter of millennials in 2011.
Millennials are weaker about civil rights as well: While 41 percent of older Americans believe it's "absolutely essential" for a democracy to have "civil rights protect people's liberty," only 32 percent of millennials agree. That's downright scary, especially when our president-elect is openly considering trampling on Americans' civil rights and liberties.
So is democracy in trouble? Mounk told the New York Times, "The warning signs are flashing red."