Random thought on forced democracy

I heard a terrible Michael Jackson song on the radio ("Man in the Mirror") while watching CNN news about how the US was trying to "teach" the Iraqis how to have a democracy that was representative of the vast cultural diversity of the nation. The juxtaposition gave me pause.

Currently in the US of A, women hold only 12 percent of the seats in Congress, a lower percentage than such nations as Mexico and South Africa. Ethnic minorities are even more severely under-represented. Women also fare poorly in executive offices. Forty seven of 50 states have male governors, and 24 of our largest 25 cities have male mayors. (These stats are from 2000.)

I don't believe one always has to practice what one preaches. To carry the religio metaphor further, classic Christian doctrine tells everyone to be more like Jesus while acknowledging that nobody ever will reach that goal so they can't ever practice what they... but I digress. The point is, I do think that one has more credibility when doing what one tells others to do. And this brings me to the more general question derived from the above: should we be convincing others to do it our way (or at least the way we wish we did it)?

I've never really bought into the whole idea that US democracy is the beacon on the hill, but I do think our system of government works pretty well for us. Why is it that we think it will work well for others? Should the whole world use the same system of governance? That loss of diversity is decried in biology, in linguistics, and in almost every other area of thought/research I can think of. Why is everyone (well, at least the US) so hyped up about crushing every alternative political system? The claim is hollow given our support of various authoritarian regimes when it serves our economic interests, but we certainly claim to have the aim of global free-market democracy. Who are we to tell people they can't live in a Theocracy or Dictatorship? Is liberation the new imperialism? (I hear that orange is the new black this season...)

Maybe the answer is to find a new radio station that doesn't play Michael Jackson songs.