America's Authoritarian Democracy

Reuters recently reported that the Iranian people are poised to democratically elect a conservative party, much to the chagrin of the State Department. "Candidates have been barred from participating in the elections in an attempt to limit the choice of the Iranian people," State Department spokesman Adam Ereli told reporters. I've heard that argument before, except last time it was my father lamenting third party participation in America.

Further, "These actions do not represent free and fair elections and are not consistent with international norms." What would be consistent with international norms, Mr. Ereli? Do you mean the international norms which prevailed in Turkey when a majority protested America's military presence? Or is it statements like, "Russia and China stand for a multipolar, just and democratic world order based on the commonly recognized principles of international law"? This statement was presented by Presidents Vladimir Putin and Hu Jintao in a joint statement targeting the United States for not seeking U.N. approval, and thus neglecting the democratic sentiments of the international community? Wait a minute, weren't these countries recently our enemies for not speaking for their people?

Non-Western countries are finally starting to come around. Increasingly, their taking into account the views of historically disenfranchised people. And its not looking good for us.

We ourselves don't practice a flawless democratic process, no matter what Mr. Ereli wants to believe about our country. There are constant allegations of corruption and exclusionary practices in our election system. However, we seem to overlook those problems. We believe, deep down in our apple pie eatin', flag wavin' souls, that those are minor details, irrelevant to our greater calling; that of spreading democratic joy throughout the world. Our foreign policy reflects that. We even go to war on that premise.

However, the small problems in our own process preclude any flawless working model that we might want to impose on newly developing democracies. At the end of the day, we're faced with the realization that Democracy is dynamic, and it's not always pretty.

As far as our involvement in the democratic affairs of other nations, I'd like to speak in a language which everyone here can easily understand, "Take the log out of your eye before you take the splinter out of their eye" (Matt 7:5).

I'm not sure what it is that America really fears. Is it rogue nations practicing Democracy? Or is it Democracy itself?