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H. R. McMaster on Restoring Confidence in American Democracy


Published July 16, 2020

America is a free and open society. Our freedoms allow us to change our government’s course if it is not performing up to our expectations. We should celebrate these freedoms and work to restore confidence in our democratic institutions.

This video’s audio is excerpted from an episode of the GoodFellows podcast, published by the Hoover Institution.

Additional Resources:

  • Listen to the GoodFellows podcast episode “Still a Free Society?” with H. R. McMaster, John Cochrane, and Niall Ferguson. Available here.
  • Watch “Threats to Free and Open Societies” with H. R. McMaster, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Niall Ferguson, and Larry Diamond. Available here.
  • Watch “Building Strategic Competence: Lessons from the Battlegrounds Overseas and in Washington with H. R. McMaster,” on PolicyEd. Available here.


View Transcript


You don’t see a lot of praise going to the U.S. government for the shortcoming associated with our initial response to COVID 19 and we ought to be grateful for that. 

I think one of the great virtues of our democracy, is that the people have a say in how they’re governed. 

And then we, by connection, are able to apply correctives to our own government if our government doesn’t perform up to our expectations. 

We are a free and open society. 

We have freedom of expression. We have freedom of the press, and these are great advantages. 

And we have to preserve them, but we ought to maybe even take an opportunity to celebrate them. 

There’s much to have grave concern about but I think we ought to take a moment to restore a degree of confidence in our democratic principles and institutions and processes.