Monday, June 16, 2008

Deep Thought of the Day: What happens when a Democray is "Wrong?"

If there is anything that has amazed me in the debate over the Iraq War, it is has been how many people are ready to declare our government "lost and broken" if they do not get their way. The Antiwar Faction of the Democratic Party has been howling for months that we are in a dictatorship, because the war goes on despite the election of a Democratic congress in 2006. And the Prowar Faction of the Republican Party has now begun howling that if Obama is elected and he pulls us out of the war, that our government will be "irretrievably damaged and perhaps lost." Both sides seem convinced that if a Democratic Republic like our own makes a decision OTHER than what they consider "correct", that it is by definition "broken" and the implication is that it is illegitimate.

Can we PLEASE get a grip? Can we PLEASE examine our rhetoric?

Democracy is not about a government which is never wrong. It is about a government which reflects the Will of the People at any moment in time. And the People have been "wrong" a whole lot. The "People" of our nation embraced slavery, and half of them tried to break away over the issue. The "People" denied the vote to women and to non-whites, until forced to face the error of their ways. The "People" of Germany elected Hitler. The "People" of ancient Greece voted to kill Socrates for the crime of asking questions. Democracy is wrong a lot.

The virtue of Democracy, and especially our Republican form of it, is that unlike other forms of government democracy tends to be self-correcting. The "People" eventually did the right thing on slavery, on secession, on equal rights, etc. The only cases where there are no chances for self-correction are where democracies become dictatorships or where "final" moves are made (like killing Socrates, no way to repeal that).

Please, both sides, calm down and accept that democracy is not "broken". Give it time to self-correct, whether you think "correction" is to get out of Iraq or to stop the current rush to get OUT of Iraq. Calling our government "broken" only encourages those who are ready to dissolve it in favor of something far worse.


CRCHAIR said...

May I be so bold as to say that the abortion issue is one of the issues that has pushed this Ultra-Partisan attitude in America. Too many people on either side of the issue think either

a. If you you are not Pro-Life then by fiat you are a baby killer and are lower than dirt.


b. If you are not Pro-Choice then you are an uncaring Bible Thumper who thinks the only rights a women should have is to cook dinner, have babies and pleasure their husbands.

We seem to lose the idea that many people are good loving people no matter what side they are on of the political spectrum.

Nomad said...

I hate to say it, but I think you are right, bro.