Democracy that Backfires

12 10 2006

Filed under: Iraq, Democracy, Republic, Politics

Where will democracy fail? Could it backfire on us?

These are legitimate questions that need to be asked now that we are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel in the Iraq War. The War on Terror goes on, as it should and as needed, but Iraq will serve as a benchmark for future terror dealings (N. Korea, Iran??)

Gary DeMar says it might backfire on us:

Image courtesy of Cox and Forkum

What if the “liberated” people of Iraq, with their newly acquired right to vote, decide that they want a Taliban-style social and political system whose goal is to defeat the infidel West and impose Sharia law on all Muslims?

There are democratic elements in our constitutional system, but these are balanced with courts and elected representatives. Moreover, western-style democratic principles are built on the remnants of a Christian moral order. Self-government under God’s government tempered the potential harmful effects of a pure democracy that could be manipulated by evil men. Attempts to export our political form without the worldview that gives it its heart will lead to unintended consequences. Democracy in the Mideast will only lead to the imposition of the prevailing worldview which is anti-Christian and anti-Western.

Our founders did not have a high opinion of majority-rule democracy. They described democracies as “spectacles of turbulence and contention,” said to be “incompatible with personal security or the rights of property. . . . In general [they] have been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

Democracies degenerate into exploitation, because rulers discover that if they promise certain benefits to a majority of voters, they can get those voters to put them in power. The voters realize that with their chosen ruler leading the nation, they can pressure him to vote in their best interests by threatening not to vote for him in the next election.

Islamic democracy is twisted since there is no place for dissent. You convert and conform. Dissension, the basis of western democracy, means reeducation, punishment, or death.

Dennis Peacocke, an expert in government and social issues sounds off:

We see a massive middle-class lifestyle with historic levels of prosperity never before experienced by such a percentage of any culture. We see the rights of the freedoms of religion, press, personal expression, etc. We see unprecedented levels of public education, health care, and social services. We see “do your own thing.” We see innumerable stories of Cinderella: poor and average people becoming either very successful or amazingly successful.

They see crime, divorce, drugs, addictions, depression, and racism, both real and imagined. They see the “underside” while we promise the blessings of the upside.

So what does all this mean? For starters it means that Western democracy really does have a great upside and a very dark downside. It also means that “forcing democracy” on people is an oxymoron. It is self-contradictory. For me all this means what I have said for years: We need a much wider prime-time debate than currently exists. The center of that debate should be this: What values will both preserve our culture domestically and, in an increasingly shrinking world, make them increasingly sought after globally? And, as Christians, the question becomes, “What must we do to become real enough to play a critical part in that discussion?”

Granted, we do not have a democracy. We live in a republic. But democracy is the direction we are going in with Palestine, Iraq and possibly others.

I don’t foresee us being able to duplicate in Muslim countries what we have here in America. Why not?

Despite what liberals argue, America is founded on Christian principles. Muslim countries are not. They may not want a democratically elected republic if it means forfeiting their Muslim beliefs. I certainly would not want to put my beliefs aside in exchange for some additional social priviledges. I’d take the punishment. Maybe some Muslims feel the same way.

Surely there are some that wish to have what we have. God has no doubt blessed America beyond anyone’s imagination and definately more than any other nation. I would like to see us be able to use Turkey and maybe Pakistan as models of democracies operating in Islamic-dominated countries. Because in the Middle East, Islam is the official religion. And restriced freedom comes pre-packaged in Islam.

No matter what shakes out, I’ll take my chances with a conservative administration. It certainly beats the alternative:





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