Forty-two United States Senators for National Democracy Month
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Forty-two United States Senators for National Democracy Month

2019-08-30 Kimberley Fraser , The American Democracy Month Council

Forty-two United States Senators, list attached, co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to begin restoring strong US support for our democracy. The legislation’s initial sponsor, Senator Lindsey Graham, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the Ranking Minority Member of that Committee Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced this legislation, S. Res. 252. Four former Senate Majority Leaders and other significant American individuals, the League of Women Voters and the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History are encouraging such efforts to support democracy. It is expected that the bill will be enacted in the near future.

Andrew E. Manatos, a board member of non-profit American Democracy Month Council (ADMC) advocating this effort said, “This resolution helps make Senators aware of studies that show a decline in citizen support for democracy, designates the strengthening of democracy as a national goal and focuses America on the subject of democracy during September, establishing a National Democracy Month. Some of the cosponsoring Senators have also begun sharing pro-democracy information with their massive social media followings. Some are also planning to utilize their influence with the editors in their states to strongly encourage editors to publish pro-democracy articles and Op Eds during September.”

“Many surveys support the need to bolster American support for democracy. According to the highly regarded World Values Survey and the Journal of Democracy, there is a high percentage of young Americans who do not believe it is ‘absolutely essential’ to live in a democracy. This percentage has risen from 28% in the WWII generation to 70% of young Americans today and a majority of Americans under 60. Additionally, there has been a doubling from the WWII generation, to one in four Millennials today, who believe it ‘unimportant to choose their leaders in a free election’. The goal of this effort is to help all Americans understand the validity of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s statement, ‘Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried’”, said Kimberley Matthews Fraser, the Executive Director of the ADMC.

“Some suggest that such proactive legislation is essential because today’s young Americans have grown up in a world where: the clearly apparent contrast between democracies and non-democracies is not as striking in terms of wealth and modern development; mechanisms of citizen oppression in non- democracies are not as apparent; school curricula focus less on civics and democracy; and the admirable comparison of America’s democracy to non-democracies has been replaced by its less admirable comparison to the ideal,” Fraser concluded.

Cosponsors: S.Res.252

Sen. Graham, Lindsey [R-SC]* Sen. Feinstein, Dianne [D-CA]*

Sen. Baldwin, Tammy [D-WI] Sen. Barrasso, John [R-WY]
Sen. Bennet, Michael F. [D-CO] Sen. Blumenthal, Richard [D-CT] Sen. Blunt, Roy [R-MO]

Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ]
Sen. Boozman, John [R-AR]
Sen. Cantwell, Maria [D-WA] Sen. Cardin, Benjamin L. [D-MD] Sen. Casey, Robert P., Jr. [D-PA] Sen. Collins, Susan M. [R-ME] Sen. Durbin, Richard J. [D-IL] Sen. Enzi, Michael B. [R-WY] Sen. Gardner, Cory [R-CO]

Sen. Grassley, Chuck [R-IA]
Sen. Hassan, Margaret Wood [D-NH] Sen. Hirono, Mazie K. [D-HI]
Sen. Kaine, Tim [D-VA]
Sen. Kennedy, John [R-LA]
Sen. King, Angus S., Jr. [I-ME]
Sen. Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN]
Sen. Leahy, Pat [D-VT]
Sen. Markey, Edward J. [D-MA]
Sen. Menendez, Robert [D-NJ]
Sen. Merkley, Jeff [D-OR]
Sen. Murphy, Christopher [D-CT] Sen. Reed, Jack [D-RI]
Sen. Rubio, Marco [R-FL]
Sen. Scott, Rick [R-FL]
Sen. Scott, Tim [R-SC]
Sen. Shaheen, Jeanne [D-NH]
Sen. Smith, Tina [D-MN]
Sen. Sullivan, Dan [R-AK]
Sen. Tester, Jon [D-MT]
Sen. Udall, Tom [D-NM]
Sen. Van Hollen, Chris [D-MD]
Sen. Warren, Elizabeth [D-MA]
Sen. Whitehouse, Sheldon [D-RI] Sen. Wicker, Roger F. [R-MS]
Sen. Wyden, Ron [D-OR]

* Denotes original sponsor