I live with my unique tribe and countrymen in a remote corner of tropical Confrica on the island of Menisia under an autocratic, tyrannical dictatorship. Though you have probably never heard of this place hidden away in the North Anticic, we have existed here since time began. This is our country. And like other tribes within their native land, we are true patriots and passionate lovers of country.
And then you come as a shiny-faced American visionary with your magic kit of split salt, talismen, toad’s eyes, cell phones, blackberries, quad-cores, collapsible electronic voting booths, bringing your glowing message of the blessed saving grace of “democratic government” supplemented by DVD’s and tutorial-extracts from “CNN’s Ballot Bowl ‘08”.
I cannot imagine how distracted and confused I would become while you attempt to explain to me the convolutions involved in the last Presidential race and convolutions involved in the present Dem-primary race.
Obviously it will take more than split salt or toad’s eyes to explain to me the interplay of electronic voting, absentee voting, exit and entry polls, counts, recounts, chads – attached or semi detached, calendars, timing, candidates – standing, seated, or are they saying seeded? In addition, you would need to explain the impressive role of super delegates, financial sponsorship. and caucuses (shouldn’t that be caucii?).
And you would need to explain to me why the confusion in the primaries goes on for months. And why a Presidential election in the midst of all your modern technology and advanced wisdom has to be a long drawn out affair that cannot be settled without calling in legal counsel to validate what voting should be counted, what voting ignored, and what voting has a decided effect.
It would frighten me, truly it would. To risk Menisia’s, and Confrica’s, present security in such mass confusion. To start the unending story of the formation of ‘another’ democracy after observing iindicators (if one looks closely) of civil unrest, weakened leadership, and fractured alliances that make it mpossible for citizens to decide with any amount of certainty, which candidate is motivated by love of power, and which is motivated by love of country. How can such a rippling underlying aggression within, efficiently block unexpected aggression from without?
(Someone should tell ‘The General” that maybe it isn’t the slow progress of the war in Iraq as much as the confusion that has virtually halted their move to democracy. Surely he can comprehend that understanding needs to proceed implementation).
But for now, let’s set that aside and move on to candidate agendas. These, too, seem to miss the point.
Candidates offer vague policies that can be interpreted a thousand ways but yet they camouflage them in a way that seems to focus on weighty and significant concerns. But when the vote is ultimately decided, these same policies eerily slip into some kind of stupid private matters that have to do with obesity, smoking, physical exercise, political correctness, sexual preferences, abortion, safe driving, green trees, and animal tracks.
So what, I must ask, is the attraction in a political persuasion that creates such bedlam and chaos? How do you do this thing called ‘democracy’? And why? When within dictatorial rule, things are so simple? When one dictator dies or is ousted, the next steps into place in two seconds flat. Before I can even plunge my tongue into my cheek.
It makes me proud to say that in my country of Menisia, the agenda of the leader is rigid and focused. His mandate is simple. It is to ensure that we are all of one mind and spirit. To ensure that no one can destabilize the government. And to ensure that no outsiders dare run roughshod over our citizens.
I tell you true, you could not hope to convert me. Nor would it be possible for you to convince me to renounce dictator rule despite all your sincerity and conviction. Obviously it would be so much better to live in untold freedom, rather than beneath heavy-handed dictatorial rule, but you are not ready to show us how. Go back to the drawing board and when you have the thing properly worked out without argument and convolution (i.e. a sensible approach); please come back and we will discuss it.
In the meantime, there may be cruelty, even oppression, for the citizens of Menisia in our present existence, but it is adequately counterbalanced by the peaceful nature of our ignorance.