The best hope for democracy

In Governor Schwarzenegger's speech at the RNC last night, he said:

"If you believe this country, not the United Nations, is the best hope for democracy, then you are a Republican."

For all the applause he got, it seems the audience overlooked the fact that Schwarzenegger's comment was profoundly anti-democratic. The clear implication of his comment is that one nation is better suited to deliver democracy to the world than a democratic assembly of all nations. History has not borne out this theory.

U.S. cannot offer the hope of democracy to the world by force. The ongoing occupations of Afganistan and Iraq have left the besieged inhabitants of the region more hostile to the liberal Western ideal of democracy. These actions have also turned world opinion against the United States.

No single nation can be the best hope for democracy.

If the
United States wishes to foster democracy in the world, it must lead by example. It must work through the U.N. to form a concensus when its interests are at stake; and if the U.S. fails to win the day through the democratic process, it must submit to the will of the world body. The policy of the United States should be never to take unilateral military action unless its survival is at stake.

Governor Schwarzenegger's comment typifies the sort of simple-minded fearmongering so distasteful in recent Republican rhetoric. Schwarzenegger's comment was damaging and uncessary; it will only reinforce the perception that Americans are arrogant and uninterested in the rest of the world.

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