Thursday, September 29, 2011

Not Ready for Democracy?

Iraq stumbles forward with their democracy, according to Hoshyar Zebari, Iraq's foreign minister:

He said Iraq has a lot to offer to countries like Tunisia, Egypt and Libya that are going through political transformation after their uprisings against authoritarian rulers.

“Each and every one of them has to go through the same stages that we’ve been through,” he said. “And we see the tensions, we see the difficulties of embracing a new order. ... Our system, our democracy is not tidy, it’s not perfect, it’s clumsy, it’s uneven and so on. But really the structures are there to resolve problems.”

Yes, corruption is a major stumbling block to entrenching democracy. But it lives. And if we stay in Iraq we will be able to support the fragile institutions and support those who want rule of law to thrive.

The anti-war side constantly said that Arabs weren't ready for democracy as the fight in Iraq raged. They still do. I always thought it was kind of a racist thing to say. But it was said by many of East Europeans in the 1990s and of Latin Americans in the 1980s. There will always be setbacks and failures, but the Arab world is no more incapable of democracy than East Europeans or Latin Americans.

Heck, I'm still silly enough to think Americans are capable of democracy. The Left, with its fantasies of being "China for a day," is dangerously sliding into anti-democratic thoughts here at home as they contemplate those bitter clingers who seem to breed in dangerously high numbers and swamp them at the polls:

In the space of two days, two prominent Democrats have called for less responsive government that ignores public input.

One of them, former White House Budget Director Peter Orszag, penned a piece this week in the New Republic arguing, as the title says, “Why we need less democracy.” Orszag wrote that “the country’s political polarization was growing worse — harming Washington’s ability to do the basic, necessary work of governing.” His solution? “[W]e need to minimize the harm from legislative inertia by relying more on automatic policies and depoliticized commissions for certain policy decisions. In other words, radical as it sounds, we need to counter the gridlock of our political institutions by making them a bit less democratic.” . . .

Perhaps know-it-all bureaucrats can be forgiven for harboring such contempt for the voting public. But elected officials cannot. That’s why similar comments by Gov. Bev Perdue, D-N.C., are far more troubling. “I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover,” Perdue told a Rotary Club gathering in suburban Raleigh this week. “I really hope that someone can agree with me on that.”

Oh, there are people who agree, all right. Saddam Hussein, Ahmadinejad, Khaddafi, Assad, Kim Jong-Il, Castro, Chavez, Putin, Hu Jintao, and Thomas Friedman, to name some.

The point of democracy is that different views are settled peacefully by the ballot box. Do these so-called "leaders" not understand that persuading the people who go to those ballot boxes to vote is how they are supposed to win their case in a democracy? Failure to persuade people that you are correct doesn't give you the right to resort to anti-democratic measures to do what you think is right.

Good grief, no wonder the Left had sweaty nightmares that George W. Bush was always on the verge of cancelling elections and seizing power. That's what they fantasize about doing in the same circumstances. Oh, not that I think this is anything but the pathetic whining of people who don't understand why the dumb masses don't just let their intellectual and social betters run things the way they want. But it does show how much they value democracy as simply a means to an end rather than as an end worthy of preserving.

But hey, all the "cool kids" with Twitter accounts are rejecting mere voting, so it is OK:

Increasingly, citizens of all ages, but particularly the young, are rejecting conventional structures like parties and trade unions in favor of a less hierarchical, more participatory system modeled in many ways on the culture of the Web.

My God, these people have the nerve to lecture Iraqis that they don't "get" democracy and can't handle it?