There is a bit of smug philosophical security politicians from any “democracy” bring to a collection of international leaders. Elected officeholders all seemingly subscribe to Winston Churchill’s adage: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”
They should drop the charade; Churchill was wrong.
I am no longer sure democracy functions…the U.S election debacle of 2016…the failings in Britain, France, Italy and Spain all suggest it is time for a change of pace.
We might be better served by going shopping for political philosophy in Beijing, Hanoi or Singapore. Certainly not Bangkok nor Manila…and nowhere in the Middle East outside of Qatar. Think of it, an American version of Aljazeera. (Well, we kind of have it, National Public Radio…but NPR tends to just read me the New York Times a day after the newspaper lands on my doorstep.)
Before wandering off into the Intelligence Community, I was an academic. Studied behavior of the American electorate. Went so far as to write a dissertation on our national propensity to shy away from the polls.
Allowed to dictate their own affairs of state, typically 55 percent of Americans have declined to participate…too busy, “it won’t matter,” and such…so take away the option, they won’t miss it. The 45% who show up at the polls are a sad lot…the elderly who don’t want to pay taxes, but demand social security…the idealists, who typically don’t have an income worthy of allowing them to vote….and the wealthy…pardon my French, but that’s a shitty way to run a country.
You want democracy. Show me a balanced budget. Show me an education system worthy of being labeled as such….”an education system”…not a daycare for children who would otherwise wreak havoc while mom and dad are at work.
All of which leaves me shopping for options…I find no worthy candidates in John Locke’s scribbling, nor that of Jefferson or Madison. We are, as HL Mencken might argue, at a dearth of talent. Which leaves me with the Chinese model… (the Russians are already there…but who knows what’s going to happen when Putin dies) …groom successors…work your way from the provinces to a state house and then legislature. Earn the right to be appointed to leadership. And then be held accountable by peers who maintain the right to rapidly dismiss and replace you.
Might accomplish something other than nominating a disgraced former judge in Alabama to serve as a US Senator. Don’t get me started on the hypocrisy currently taking place in Washington. Just because the New York Times suddenly discovered sexual harassment does not mean half of those willing to denounce Judge Moore are not guilty themselves. Go do a little homework on now-retired Senator David Vitter…he of whorehouses and multiple mistresses…all while proclaiming the virtue of “family values.”
A pox on the lot, what we need is an American Lee Kuan Yew. (Look him up…made Singapore that which we all know today.) Instead we have managed to find a “democratic” equivalent of a modern Hitler or Mussolini…both products of democracy.
I guarantee you the Russians don’t meddle when the Chinese, Qatari or Singaporeans go about selecting heads of state. But they seem to have offered lessons in Saudi Arabia. Mohammed bin Salman is acting a lot like a junior Stalin. Lock up the opposition and then go meddling in the affairs of your neighbors. Perhaps we should avoid adopting a monarchy as a model. Regal inbreeding seems to coincide with a penchant for governance equally as bad as that found in New Delhi…my other “favorite” democracy.
I would suggest it’s time to go read the work of Wang Huning, the man who is now considered the philosophical muse of China’s communist party. The father of neo-authoritarianism. To quote the man, “Unity of leadership is the prerequisite for the existence of any country. Where there is no central authority or where central authority is in decline, the nation will be divided and chaotic.”
With that in mind, want to talk about the state of affairs in Washington DC? I rest my case.
Eric C. Anderson
14 November 2017