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What is democracy? Perhaps we ought define democracy just a little.


By Col. Stan Gudmundson

Fri, Jul 19th, 2013
Posted in All Commentary

By Stan Gudmundson

First and foremost leaders of a democratic country would faithfully follow a country’s constitution and all of its laws. Its people would not tolerate an administration that selectively enforced only those laws with which it agreed. Aren’t you glad you live in the United States, the greatest democracy ever?

A democratic government would treat natural law as inviolable. Restrictions on freedom of assembly, speech, and religion would never be allowed. People in democracies have, among their other rights, a right to defend themselves as government cannot always protect them. Moreover, citizens have an obligation to defend their families. Aren’t you glad you live in the United States, the greatest democracy ever?

A democratic country would have secure borders. Its citizens would not be concerned about an illegal invasion of unvetted immigrants. Moreover, the country would decide who it would allow in as potential residents based on what is best for the nation and its citizens. Its immigrants would be the pick of the litter so to speak. They would be highly educated. They would work hard, stimulate the economy, and not be a burden.

Moreover, someone from another country who marries a citizen of a democracy would not be subject to a long and onerous admissions process. Aren’t you glad you live in the United States, the greatest democracy ever?

Democratically elected leaders of a democracy would not use questionable or illegal means to promote an agenda. Let’s pull something out of thin air and imagine an improbable scenario whereby an administration undertakes a gun-running operation into an adjacent country in an effort to convince its citizens that it would be a very good idea to ban private gun ownership. Or perhaps a gun-running operation to convince its citizens that gun shops should be closed and shuttered. Aren’t you glad you live in the United States, the greatest democracy ever, where this would never happen?

People in a democracy absolutely would not tolerate democratically elected officials using agencies of the government to intimidate or harass its citizens or shut down organizations. For example, tax collecting agencies would never be allowed to audit and intimidate citizens who contributed campaign funds to opposition parties. This would be unforgivable. And certainly the government would never, ever spy on its own citizens. Aren’t you glad you live in the United States, the greatest democracy ever?

A democracy’s revenue collection agencies would also go to enormous lengths to ensure that everyone is treated fairly. Everyone and every group applying for a special tax consideration of some kind would have their applications processed in exactly the same manner without regard to purpose or political leanings. Further, those applications would never be subject to extraordinary review procedures.

Author Tom Clancy once said the difference between writing fiction and nonfiction is that fiction had to be believable. If we were to imagine another implausible scenario, assume IRS agents ask applicants about the content of their prayers and what they were praying for. That could not qualify as fiction as it is simply inconceivable. Aren’t you glad you live in the United States, the greatest democracy on earth?

Were there people in a revenue collection agency who actually approved or participated in bizarre events such as these, they would be fired immediately and prosecuted shortly thereafter. The very last result one would expect would be for someone involved in such activity to be promoted. Afterall, in a democracy, everyone is equal before the law. No exceptions.

Freedom of the press in democracies is virtually unrestricted. In some democratic countries newspapers and magazines have printed highly classified material without ever revealing their sources. Additionally, they are never prosecuted irrespective of their supposed political positions.

Since freedom of the press is sacrosanct, it is obvious that executive agencies would never ever intercept any kinds of communications between and among the press corps and its organizations. Surely no one reporter would be singled out for reporting information that an administration would not like being made public. Aren’t you glad you live in the United States, the greatest democracy ever?

Everyone in a democracy, as previously noted, would be equal under the law. No one or no institution or business or gender or “self-identified” minority would be treated any differently than anyone else. No one or no group or no organization would be more equal than others.

Slavery ended almost 150 years ago. Consequently, democracies are both de facto and de jure not discriminatory. People in correctly functioning democracies have gotten over what long ago dead people did to other long ago dead people. Only the character of people matter. Aren’t you glad you live in the United States, the greatest democracy ever?

The enemies of powerful democracies mess with these countries knowing that they take great risks to do so. Democratic countries go to great lengths to protect their citizens to include those serving in embassies overseas. If any of these were attacked, the response would immediate and ferocious.

One would be absolutely confident that democracies leaders would actively ensure their citizens were safe. And were citizens harmed, the president or prime minister would exact clear and justifiable retribution. If there actually were failures as a consequence of poor leadership, heads would roll. Aren’t you glad you live in the United States, the greatest democracy ever?

In a time where millions lose jobs or take pay cuts or have their working hours reduced or lose their health care, the president would set an example. At the minimum he and his family wouldn’t go on frequent and extraordinarily costly vacations at taxpayers expense. He would park the great big expensive presidential airplane and only travel for truly consequential reasons.

In democracies, leaders would have the clear authority and responsibility for leading the country and running executive branch bureaucracies. The president or prime minister would never make excuses for the results of his policies. In addition, he wouldn’t blame his predecessors or underlings for failings of any kind. He or she would take those responsibilities to heart given that he was elected to solve problems and fix things.

Blaming others and not, as we learned in kindergarten, coloring within the lines would just be out of the question. Ends would never ever be justified by questionable or illegal means. In other words, he would be a man. Aren’t you glad you live in the United States, the greatest democracy on earth, where presidents always walk the straight and narrow?

Finally, the citizens of a well functioning democracy would insist that the rule of law take precedence over political views or party affiliation. Its citizens would not excuse those at the very top or the president or prime minister were that rule of law to be willfully ignored or purposely violated. Aren’t you glad you live in the United States, the greatest democracy on earth?

Well, aren’t you?

There are nations that pretend to be democracies but don’t believe in or live by democratic virtues. They have lost their way. Are they doomed? We shall see will we not?

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