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Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images/Common Dreams

Over 80 historians of fascism and authoritarianism from around the world signed an open letter Sunday warning that American democracy is in existential peril and urging people to take action now before it's too late to save it.

"Regardless of the outcome of the United States' election, democracy as we know it is already imperiled," the letter opens.

"Whether Donald J. Trump is a fascist, a post-fascist populist, an autocrat, or just a bumbling opportunist, the danger to democracy did not arrive with his presidency and goes well beyond November 3rd, 2020," it continues.

The letter notes that "while democracy appeared to be flourishing everywhere in the years following the end of the Cold War, today it seems to be withering or in full-scale collapse globally."

"As scholars of twentieth century authoritarian populism, fascism, and political extremism, we believe that unless we take immediate action, democracy as we know it will continue in its frightening regression, irrespective of who wins the American presidency in early November," the authors write.

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