Democracy, Bush Style:
What a concept, huh, democracy? The idea that people elect their representatives, who will then attempt to do good by the people who elected them. And if the elected fuck up? In an ideal democracy, they get voted out of office. In the real world, there's all kinds of mitigating factors: money, media savviness, manipulation. But, as a concept, democracy is quite a lovely thing, and it's no wonder that we celebrate whenever democracy occurs in places where it had previously been denied.

Except for the downside: sometimes people get elected who other countries dislike. We can see exhibit A in our own President. Much of the rest of the world absolutely, freely, exhiliratingly hates him, much like the mongoose hates the cobra. So vicious and angry is this world hatred towards Bush that he is unsafe to travel in many places. He is seen as a reckless war criminal, hurtling the U.S towards oligarchy and plunging the world economy into chaos in order to please his financial backers. And, really, can we blame the rest of the world? Isn't there a point where the world may just be right? But the thing is, and here's the really big difference, the rest of the world is waiting anxiously on the results of the upcoming election, trusting that democracy will be the means by which a nation rights itself in the eyes of the global community. Check out this on the Canadian magazine Maclean's attempt to influence our elections with ill wishes for Bush. Or these views from Europe. Notice: these countries do not appear to support the armed overthrow of a government they dislike.

Ahh, but these countries are not the United States, and, because the Bush administration could give a rat's ass less what anyone else thinks, the U.S. was and is actively engaged in activities to overthrow legally elected leaders. No, Jean-Bertrand Aristide was not the model of a freedom-loving President in Haiti, but, you know, he was elected in 2000, in an election that was deemed fair, probably more fair than the U.S. election that year. And now, with allegations that Aristide was kidnapped and forced to leave Haiti, and with the fact that former death squad members are now taking control of the country, one pretty much can assume that this is another sad chapter in the Republicans' deplorable relationship with Haiti, especially since the Repubs viewed Aristide as too leftist back in the day (1992). (And this doesn't even address the "help" the Reagan adminstration gave to Baby Doc Duvalier before he became a liability.)

And, of course, there's Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Elected in 1998 with 56% of the vote, Chavez is the old school kind of elected leader the U.S. hates, one who consorts with countries we don't think he should consort with and one who follows through with his socialist rhetoric. See, Chavez believes the government has a role in making the lives of the poor better. So the U.S. had to back a coup to get him ousted when Chavez turned on the oil companies in Venezuela. Problem was, in 2000, Chavez was elected under a new constitution with 80% of the vote. Hard to fuck with those numbers, ones that a presidential candidate in the U.S. would sell his mother to Arabs with an old lady fetish to get. In one of those beautiful, wish we were there kind of moments, Chavez recently called Bush an "asshole," and he has threatened to cut off oil trade with the U.S. Is this the most stable way to run a democracy? Nope. But who are we to tamper with the will of the people?

Ahh, if you answered, "Why, the U.S. shouldn't tamper with the will of the people in a democratic society," then you haven't been paying attention. Wait and see, wait and see, when Iraq decides it wants to be an Islamic republic. It's gonna be messy. "Democracy" is a concept. It is not a hard and fast rule. It is a baby, with shit-filled diapers, compared to things like dictatorship and thuggery. We know that Bush does not care for the vicissitudes of democracy. We know that he doesn't believe in the "people" to make up their own minds. We know that the vote and the will are anathema to the will to power of the Republican leadership.