Democracy · The best of Pat Buchanan

How Democracy is Losing the World

By Patrick J. Buchanan, December 11, 2018:

If Donald Trump told Michael Cohen to pay hush money to Stormy Daniels about a one-night stand a decade ago, that, says Jerome Nadler, incoming chair of House Judiciary, would be an “impeachable offense.”

This tells you what social media, cable TV and the great herd of talking heads will be consumed with for the next two years — the peccadillos and misdeeds of Trump, almost all of which occurred before being chosen as president of the United States.

“Everywhere President Trump looks,” writes The Washington Times’ Rowan Scarborough, “there are Democrats targeting him from New York to Washington to Maryland… lawmakers, state attorneys general, opposition researchers, bureaucrats and activist defense lawyers.

“They are aiming at Russia collusion, the Trump Organization, the Trump Foundation, a Trump hotel, Trump tax returns, Trump campaign finances and supposed money laundering.”

The full-court press is on. Day and night we will be hearing debate on the great question: Will the elites that loathe him succeed in bringing Trump down, driving him from office, and prosecuting and putting him in jail?

Says Adam Schiff, the incoming chair of the House intelligence committee: “Donald Trump may be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time.”

And what will a watching world be thinking when it sees the once-great republic preoccupied with breaking yet another president?

Will that world think: Why can’t we be more like America?

Does the world still envy us our free press, which it sees tirelessly digging up dirt on political figures and flaying them with abandon?

Among the reasons democracy is in discredit and retreat worldwide is that its exemplar and champion, the USA, is beginning to resemble France’s Third Republic in its last days before World War II.

Also, democracy no longer has the field largely to itself as to how to create a prosperous and powerful nation-state.

This century, China has shown aspiring rulers how a single-party regime can create a world power, and how democracy is not a necessary precondition for extraordinary economic progress.

Vladimir Putin, an autocratic nationalist, has shown how a ruined nation can be restored to a great power in the eyes of its people and the world, commanding a new deference and respect.

Democracy is a bus you get off when it reaches your stop, says Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After the attempted coup in the summer of 2017, Erdogan purged his government and military of tens of thousands of enemies and jailed more journalists than any other nation.

Yet he is welcomed in the capitals of the world.

What does American democracy now offer the world as its foremost attribute, its claim to greatness?

“Our diversity is our strength!” proclaims this generation.

We have become a unique nation composed of peoples from every continent and country, every race, ethnicity, culture and creed on earth.

But is not diversity what Europe is openly fleeing from?

Is there any country of the Old Continent clamoring for more migrants from the Maghreb, sub-Sahara or Middle East?

Broadly, it seems more true to say that the world is turning away from transnationalism toward tribalism, and away from diversity and back to the ethno-nationalism whence the nations came.

The diversity our democracy has on offer is not selling.

Ethnic, racial and religious minorities, such as the Uighurs and Tibetans in China, the Rohingya in Myanmar, minority black tribes in sub-Sahara Africa and white farmers in South Africa, can testify that popular majority rule often means mandated restrictions or even an end to minority rights.

In the Middle East, free elections produced a Muslim Brotherhood president in Egypt, Hamas in Palestine, Hezbollah in Lebanon. After this, a disillusioned Bush 43 White House called off the democracy crusade.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, relates how one minority is treated in much of the Muslim world:

“Christians face daily the threat of violence, murder, intimidation, prejudice and poverty…”

“In the last few years, they have been slaughtered by so-called Islamic State. … Hundreds of thousands have been forced from their homes. Many have been killed, enslaved and persecuted or forcibly converted. Even those who remain ask the question, ‘Why stay?’

“Christian communities that were the foundation of the universal Church now face the threat of imminent extinction.”

And all the while this horror is going on, Ronald Reagan’s treaty that banned all U.S. and Soviet nuclear missiles with a range between 310 and 3,400 miles faces collapse. And President Trump’s initiative to bring about a nuclear-free North Korea appears in peril.

Yet, for the next two years, we will be preoccupied with whether paying hush money to Stormy Daniels justifies removing a president, and exactly when Michael Cohen stopped talking to the Russians about his boss building a Trump Tower in Moscow.

We are an unserious nation, engaged in trivial pursuits, in a deadly serious world.

6 thoughts on “How Democracy is Losing the World

  1. I could be wrong but I am thinking that this is the last hurrah in a Hegelian puppet show…

    I think that very soon this pendulum will swing and we will see Donald Trump crowned King of the World. From the beginning they have trashed him… Every pundit in all of Mediadum swore that he could not win… Now, they are predicting his downfall with great gusto, yet he remains standing…

    Pardon me, but I think that Lucifer has the man’s back…

    What I see is a massive Hegelian play, pushing the Left to such extremes that the Right has to win… but it will go so far to the right as to be the Kingdom of Hell…

    I see the New World Order / Kingdom of the Beast as an extension of Plato’s Republic, Sir Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis and the United States of America…

    The AntiMessiah is going to show up as the hero who saves us from the Left and ourselves… The Socialists, Communists, Gays and Abortionists are going to end up against a wall in front of a firing squad…

    If it had not been for Hillary, Trump could not have been elected…

    That is how I see it anyway…

  2. Sorry, mate, but I have to vehemently disagree with you here.

    This one really riled me: Vladimir Putin, an autocratic nationalist, has shown how a ruined nation can be restored to a great power in the eyes of its people and the world, commanding a new deference and respect.
    Putin is a conniving low-life scum who is dragging his country into ruin economically and deserves the sanctions against his country for his illegal annexation of Ukraine.

    China may be a strong economic power but its people are denied basic human rights that we take for granted in the West, including the right to protest and oppose the governtment. Look at how poor Hong Kong is steadily having the life squeezed out of it. They are doing their best to protect their rights and values but to little avail.

    Trump is a liar and a con man. I approve his stance on illegal economic migration – the Dems need to man up on this – but he has brought the office of POTUS into disrespect. If the Obama administration had behaved in the same way, the GOP would have behaved no differently (but he didn’t so they couldn’t). Check this out:

    Democratic counties may be seen to have their flaws by autocrats, but it is these very flaws that are positives. The scrutiny of the press (the 4th estate) of the Executive should always be upheld, shining the spotlight on issues that politicians seek to conceal. Bickering amongst political parties is a necessity as it underscores that different views and policies can be pursued and upheld.

    I think you should put yourself in the shoes of a Russian, Chinese or Turk opposed to the existing administrations and then perhaps re-write this whole article.

    1. Ok so first of all, I didn’t write this article, it was Patrick Buchanan (as I referenced at the start).

      So I understand your objection to authoritarianism in China, Russia and Turkey– I really do. I certainly wouldn’t want to live in a society as barbaric as the Chinese. And that’s part of why I’m principally in favour of some democratic system.

      But this democracy has to operate within a certain context. While I like the idea of a democratic process, democracy is more of a means, rather than an ends.

      So if the means of democracy are being used to enrich frankly traitorous politicians while they defy the national good and replace our population, I have a problem. No process is exempt from inspection as to how much harm it is inflicting.

      Democracy can only properly operate when there is base of shared values in a society and right now, that is running out. The Left has treated Donald Trump as an illegitimate president all this time, and they no longer respect the system because they view his presidency so evil and damaging that destroying him matters more than the process.

      Now to Australia. I believe that if the 2 major parties cannot come to any consensus on our racial, ethnic, religious, cultural or national identity (as they once did); defending our democracy’s continuation (in its present form) becomes untenable.

      Because of this, I would rather a system that possessed autocratic and democratic aspects. The autocratic monarch (or something along these lines) could finally end immigration, pull us out of the UN, and sort out our trade deals. Then those democratically appointed by the people could debate the other issues. I would seek this type of trade off, for every country has a limit to how much instability it can take.

    2. many on the right hated his guts because he did nothing to warrant it. If Trump broke any laws then ke cannot be above the law in a democracy. Putin can pretty much do whatever he wants in Russia and get away with blue murder – literally of those who oppose him.
      Give me democracy any day warts and all. Italy is a very good example of non-pc lefty politicians being voted into office. Austria and Hungary as well. So it cuts both ways.

    3. Yeah it’s good you brought up Italy and Austria. This is where democracy can be useful– in furthering the national interest. But when the same processes so woefully betray the national interest, we should so too betray these processes. Put simply, some decisions are too important for temporary majorities to decide over.

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