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Legendary British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once observed that “Democracy is the worst form of government imaginable…Except for every other form.”
Churchill, of course, was talking about democracy in America. He realized that the American form of government was far from perfect but felt, at the time, that it was preferable to most other forms, including even his own.
As the saying goes: That was then, this is now.
Even those who labor under the illusion that the government which now claims to rule America has any relation to democracy or even the bastardized “Democratic Republic” that was intended by the nation’s founders should be doubting their sanity.
What makes the claim that America is a democracy even more hilarious is the dream that we are somehow “bringing democracy” to other countries whenever we try and justify a lame excuse for involving ourselves in a conflict elsewhere in the world.
President George W. Bush claimed one of the intentions for the ill-advised — and some felt illegal — invasion of Iraq was to “bring democracy” to that part of the world. That was 10 year ago. Is Iraq a democratic society? Hardly. Some could argue that the conditions that now exist in Iraq are no better — and perhaps worse — than those that existed under deposed dictator Saddam Hussein.
Many actions we launch in the Middle East is with the stated goal of “bringing stability” to the area. The result is usually the opposite.
Did America leave Vietnam a better place? Our stated goal there was to prevent a Communist takeover. The “unified” Vietnam we left behind is under Communist control. Is Afghanistan a better place then it was when we went to war there 10 years ago? Is Beirut a better city now than before American involvement there?
For that matter, is America itself now a better place than it was, say, 35 years ago? Do we enjoy real freedom now? Is our standard of living improved? Are we served by elected officials that we feel truly represent our interests?
From where we sit here at Capitol Hill Blue, I’d have to say the answer to such questions is a resounding “no.”
America today is not much of a democracy. It is, for all practical purposes, a totalitarian nation ruled by elected officials who answer not to the majority but to a privileged wealthy few who control Congress and the White House with huge political donations and fatcat lobbyists. Republicans answer to the Koch brothers, who control both the party and the so-called independent “tea party” movement. Democrats answer to George Soros and a gaggle of other billionaires out of the tech industry and other venues. Neither side can control the abuses of the financial sector or Wall Street because those sectors control both parties.
America cannot claim to be a free society because freedom is under assault by both Democrats and Republicans every day. The current occupant of the White House ran for office on the promise of curbing the abuses of freedom and the assaults on the rights of Americans by his predecessor. Once in office, he not only embraced those abuses, he increased them.
Which brings us to the current debate on whether or not America’s military might should be unleashed against Syria because leaders of that country gassed some of its population with chemical weapons.
Some who support such a strike say America must act to punish a tyrant who threatens the safety of the world. Some compare what happened in Syria with the early days of Hitler and say it is the duty of America to protect the world.
But consider this. Given the erosion of democracy in America, the infringement of rights upon American citizens by its own government and the sad fact that just about every nation we have become involved with in the last several decades is now worse off then before, maybe the question that should be asked is: Who is needed to protect the world from America?
It troubles my soul as an American to ask that question but it is, sadly, one that must be posed.