Sometimes it takes a foreigner who is fighting for democracy to remind Americans of how much we take our system for granted. Such a wake-up call is particularly useful when we have a president-elect who admires strongmen and displays indifference to democratic norms.
Donald Trump's threat to jail Hillary Clinton if he's elected just underlined why he so admires that "strong leader" Vladimir Putin. No pesky checks on executive power when you operate out of the Kremlin. Send your opponents to Siberia and no one says "boo."
Trudy Rubin’s Worldview column runs on Thursdays and Sundays. Over the past decade she has made multiple trips to Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey, Israel and the West Bank and also written from Syria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iran, Russia, Ukraine, South Korea and China. She is the author of Willful Blindness: the Bush Administration and Iraq, a book of her columns from 2002-2004. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary in 2016 and 2001, and in 2008 she was awarded the Edward Weintal prize for international reporting. In 2010 she won the Arthur Ross award for international commentary from the Academy of American Diplomacy.