Democratic elections are only as good as the people who take part in them. When the people want the Koran or Das Kapital, then they will get it. Such elections measure the character of a people, their commitment to the rights of others and their basic humanity. The Egyptians failed their election test, as the statistics showing the national support for Sharia and the sexual assault rates forecast that they would. As did the Tunisians and the Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza.
To the advocates of universal democracy such failures are only a temporary manifestation that can be reversed with enough funding for social NGO’s and political outreach. But the reality is that they represent a deeper moral and spiritual crisis that we ignore at our own risk. Governments reflect the character of the people they rule over and a government whose values and policies have no connection whatsoever with those of the people cannot endure except through the intervention of foreign armies.
Democracy is allowing the Muslim world to express its truest and deepest self. That self is at the heart of this conflict. It is at the heart of the clash of civilizations. By helping to liberate them we have set their worst selves free.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
The problem is not insufficient democracy
The problem is the character of the people, as Daniel Greenfield points out in this somewhat somber look at some of the world's hot spots.