USA promotes democracy as the model for … well, everyone

Ben Overmyer

Ben Overmyer

Democracy is not the final solution.

Such words are often regarded as heresy in this, the “Land of the Free.” If you think about it though – really think about it – democracy is little more than the most popular kid in school right now. She certainly has plenty of friends and plenty of enemies.

Here’s the rub. The American form of government – a democratic republic – is simply a form of government. There’s nothing inherently better about it any more than there’s anything inherently better in, say, French over English. It has advantages (such as limited protection against tyrannical rulers) and disadvantages (such as allowing majorities to persecute minorities).

By now you’re probably wondering where this is going. Well, here’s the truth of it – America has been going on a modern-day crusade. America’s crusade is not in the name of Christ, as those in the Middle Ages were. It’s in the name of democracy. However, in the latter half of the 20th century and so far in the 21st century, those countries we have invaded or occupied on the premise of “spreading democracy” have ultimately failed to become democratic.

According to the Hoover Institution, in total there have been 35 attempts by the United States to spread democratic practices through direct intervention since World War II. Of them, only one has resulted in a stable democratic government: Colombia. Yes, Colombia. That’s less than a three percent success rate … and yet American leadership is still very much in favor of attempting to democratize foreign sovereign nations.

Democracy won’t work in Iraq, and we shouldn’t have even tried to institute it there. Going on the basis of Islamic culture and working governments in the surrounding area, it’s fairly obvious that Iraq would best be served by either a monarchy or an oligarchy. Oman has a monarchy and is doing just fine. Iraq cannot simply be thrust into a democratic form of government without some remnant of its previous political structure. Its current status is proof of that. America must stop its crusade – if only for our own sake.