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Since then, dissatisfaction has continued to grow. This represents 2.
The second noteworthy finding is that the fall in democratic satisfaction has foe especially pronounced in those countries that were supposed to be especially stable: high-income, developed democracies. Today, a majority is, for the first time, dissatisfied. But dissatisfaction with democracy is not evenly distributed across countries of different sizes.
Finally, the drop in satisfaction with democracy is both especially rapid and especially consequential in the United States. For much of its modern history, America has viewed itself as a model democracy that could serve as an example to countries that wished to emulate its success. Survey data show that there was a little substance to this hubris: as recently as 10 years ago, three out of every four Americans said that they were satisfied with the state of their democratic system.
During the financial crisis, this began to change. And since then, Americans have become more pessimistic about their system every single year.
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For the first time on record, polls show that a majority of Americans 55 percent are dissatisfied with their system of government. When we first reported that citizens in supposedly consolidated democracies were growing dissatisfied with their political systems, our argument appeared out of sync with the times.
So what seemed like a strange puzzle in now looks like a more straightforward story. Citizens have become steadily disenchanted with their democratic systems. As a result, they are more and more willing to vote for extremist politicians who promise to break with the status quo.
It is perfectly possible that democracies will recover from their current crisis in the years to come. But every new data point makes it that much harder to deny that such a crisis exists.
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