Friday, January 27, 2006

Democracy Does Not Insure Sanity

One of the things I learned in school, I think it was 6th grade "civics", was that a democracy could be one and the same as "a tyranny of the majority." Palestines' recent democratic election points out that we need to be careful what we wish for. If we ignorantly wish for nations to become democracies so that they will miraculously become our allies, we are sorely mistaken.

Deomcratic Palestine is now run by Hamas, one of the most notorious Islamofacist terrorist organizations in the world. We are congratulating ourselves for achieving the beginnings of democracy in Iraq. What form of terrorist-loving government will that democracy create?

Don't you think we're missing something when we narrow mindedly promote democracy as the cure all to our problem of international relations? What are we missing?

Here are some thoughts:

  • Belief in a higher power and authority (beyond government) that defines and rewards universally accepted "good behavior" (yes, religion matters)
  • Love of personal freedom balanced by a strong sense of personal responsibility
  • Freedom of expression/press
  • Respect for law
  • Respect for the freedom of choice of others
  • Common vision and purpose among the people
There are infinite combinations and varieties of these "basics" of a civil nation. A "democracy" ain't one of them. I was reminded recently that Hitler rose and thrived in a democracy. That democracy certainly did not ensure sanity, either.

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