Disappointing Democracies: How the US and other democratic nations have been disappointing me lately


It hurts more when someone you look up to disappoints.  Democracy is an expression of the will of the people.  We as humans have accomplished so much and so much more is ahead of us… maybe. I have faith in humanity, but it has been weakened by disappointing democracies.

Winston Churchill said in 1947

Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

This is what we got, relying on each other as citizens, as voters. When democracies make mistakes the responsibility rests on the people. We are the power. With our votes and other participation we are the foundation, the basis of our democratic government. As a US citizen I share responsibility for my country’s mistakes.

And lately we have been setting a terrible example for the democratic world to follow.

United States of America:  Some stories that have stuck in my head


  • Homeschooling: Domenic Johansson.  Reading through the case file, I’m still disappointed in Sweden, but it certainly is more gray that it seemed in the initial context when the story went viral online.  This is a country that much of the democratic world looks up to as a success story, so anything wrong is extra noteworthy.  It seems that Domenic was taken with the best of intentions, and Sweden really thinks what they are doing is right and good.  It is a small thing maybe compared to the horrible stories in the US, but it is a problem woven into the fabric of a pedestaled democracy.  It is not obvious, and not easy to fix.  The best I can think of is simply allowing families who want to homeschool, or for other reasons in conflict with Swedish society, to more easily emigrate.






So I hold these and many other stories in my head as I consider our voting based system.  And I think while democracy is flawed, it can function well enough, but only so long as its citizens are educated and participate more than not.  A healthy majority must have basic civic sanity, or we make the flaws bleed and the people’s government fail.

Let’s stop water-boarding and assassinating.  Let’s stop imprisoning and executing.  Let’s stop invading everyone’s privacy.  Simply, let’s try being civilized.  Let’s restore justice.  Let’s set an example that won’t disappoint.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s