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news & opinion with no titillating non-news from the major non-news channels.


I am: progressive, not a wild-eyed Progressive; liberal, but shun liberals and Liberals; conservative, but some Conservatives worry me; absolutely NOT a libertarian. I am: an idealist, but no utopian; a pragmatist, but no Machiavellian. I am a realist who dreams.


I welcome all opinions.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

New World Order 2:
   What is Democracy, Really?

A response from Cliff May, president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, during an interview with The Echo Chamber Project, July 28th, 2004:

When we talk about the democratic societies, it means more than the right to vote, for example. People don’t always understand that democracy does not mean that the two wolves sit down with the sheep and vote on what to have for dinner. When we talk about democratic societies and democratic institutions, what we mean are such things as the rule of law, and an independent judiciary, and a free press, and a way for citizens to choose or at least consent to who governs them. And probably property rights are a very important component of that as well. You can prioritize this -- But those are the kinds of concepts that people need to understand -- And by the way, even here in the west -- or here in the United States -- I think we don’t necessarily understand these concepts very well. We operate within them perfectly well, but that’s not the same. Its like saying, "Well, I can drive a car, but that doesn’t mean I could build a car -- or even fix a car." And when we talk about a country that has lived under tyranny, where you’re trying to bring democratic institutions, you have to do more than operate a system that is already in use. You have to create systems. And that’s a very tricky thing to do. It has not been very successfully done very many times in history. It has happened, but it’s not been easy.

Right on target.


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