Confused about struggle for democracy |

Confused about struggle for democracy

Dear Editor:

It has come to my attention that a military force from a high-profile country is currently engaged in a historic struggle for democracy. I cannot tell you how happy I was to hear that.

But, since I don’t trust newspapers (I rely upon a close circle of advisers for critical information), I must say that when I heard the action was not taking place within the famous country itself, I was confused and skeptical.

Despite being the “home of the brave,” I am told that the famous country remains fearful of granting freedoms to all of its citizens. Of course, as a lover of bravery and freedom, my heart was heavy to hear that. In a secret meeting, they informed me that the majority of its citizens feel effectively disenfranchised. They don’t vote. There’s great distrust of the two parties.

Some of my advisers even claim that self-interest has become the prime virtue. I was shocked and awed by that revelation.

“Can it be true?” I asked. My advisers looked somber, yet coldly determined to give me the best intelligence possible.

“Doesn’t that deplorable level of apathy and these other weaknesses confound the notion that it is the ‘greatest democracy the world has ever seen?'”

They looked down without answer. The room was still, a pall hung over us. I wrestled with my thoughts and emotions.

Then, one of my bolder advisers spoke up, as if his hair was on fire.

“There’s a great danger attacking the land of the free, greater even than its own inertia; it must be stopped. Sir, it is at war with an enemy …” and at that point he pounded upon my desk.

Then, pulling a wrinkled page from his breast pocket, he read a statement from the vice leader of the famous country: “Such an enemy cannot be deterred, cannot be contained, cannot be appeased, or negotiated with,” the vice leader said. “It can only be destroyed. And that is the business at hand.”

My adviser was enraptured by this prose. I followed along as he read, also in agreement with the leader’s words, but thought to myself: “Yes, the willing suppression of one’s critical thinking capacity, the susceptibility to ‘belief and faith’ when doubt is required, the comfort of convention and self-interest … the greatest enemies of democracy.”

So, you see, it was with great joy and anticipation that I learned of the military action. I thought, “Perhaps the people have awakened, something’s afoot, freedom and democracy rise together upon the tide of the people’s will! The vice leader has inspired them to action!”

Alas, it seems it was only a moment of bad poetry, and a sinking feeling to hear (possibly yet a misunderstanding) that the military action imposes democracy elsewhere.

I remain unsure about certain parts of this intelligence. Sometimes bad information comes disguised as “slam dunk” quality stuff. Sir, have you heard anything about this?

George Mahaffey


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