The mistake of global democratization
By Frank Salvato
We are hearing a great deal about a budding "democracy movement" spreading throughout the Middle East. Many are calling it an "Arab Spring." The belief is that after centuries of totalitarian oppression, the Arab street is suddenly pining for more freedom; rebelling against the elitist ruling class of kings, emirs, despots and tyrants. This is most likely true for a great number of those filling the streets of Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Bahrain and myriad other Middle Eastern, predominantly Muslim nations. But there is a less than honorable component amongst the rebellion that simply waits for the "right" to a democratic vote. Contrary to how the idea of a move to democracy presents, in the volatile Middle East there are elements in play that could make it a move in the wrong direction.
Each and every day we hear the misnomer that the United States of America is a democracy. We hear it from the average man on the street, the mainstream media and even from those we have elected to office. But the fact of the matter is this: we are not a democracy. We are a constitutional republic. A thorough and convincing exhibit of the facts surrounding this reality is presented in Notes on Democracy: And the Republic for Which It Stands. The fact that this issue is even in need of address is a scathing commentary on the constitutional illiteracy of the American electorate and serves as a sobering reminder that, often times, what sounds good – what "feels good" – isn't always as it presents.
The distinction – between the benefits of a democracy and a constitutional republic – is incredibly important, and while some describe our nation as a democracy in an error of ignorance, others – some with schemes of political opportunism – do so with a nefarious purpose and bad intentions.
James Madison, recognized as the Father of the US Constitution, said this about factions and democracy in Federalist No. 10:
Why is this important in the context of what is happening in the Middle East at this very moment? Simple; it is important because "factious tempers," and "local prejudices of sinister design" are prevalent throughout not only the ruling classes of the Arab-Muslim world, but exist – and on a tremendously popular level – throughout the Middle East, Arab culture and around the world in Islamic populations.
In Lebanon, Democracy and the democratic election process brought legitimacy to the terrorist group Hezbollah, a group, created by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard after the Islamist Revolution of 1979, responsible for the greatest number of American and Western deaths until al Qaeda exploded onto the scene, no pun intended. Through a scheme of "providing" for enough people in Southern Lebanon to win elections, Hezbollah was transformed from a ruthless Shiite-Islamist terror organization (a moniker still bestowed upon it by the US State Department and freedom-loving governments around the world) into an officially elected entity in the Lebanese Parliament, its influence expanding year after year.
In the Palestinian-held Israeli territories, the Palestinian Authority, born of the Palestinian Liberation Organization – recognized at its genesis as a terrorist organization before the United Nations bestowed legitimacy on it, has seen an accord between the Fatah faction of the West Bank and the Hamas faction of Gaza; Hamas, a Sunni-Islamist group, recognized as a terrorist organization by the US and other non-Arab nations around the world. Hamas, like Hezbollah, but after an armed coup against Fatah in Gaza, held "democratic elections" establishing itself – although questionably so – as the democratically elected government of Gaza. Like Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas achieved legitimacy – albeit ever so suspect – through the process of democracy.
Another example of democracy not serving freedom – or liberty – are the elections held in the former Soviet state of Russia. During the Soviet Era, Soviet Premiers had to at least subject themselves to the scrutiny of the elitist class Communist Party members who made up the Soviet politburo. Today we see a former KGB colonel, in Vladimir Putin, not only usurping the intent of the Russian constitution by installing a puppet president to "insert" a term into the mix before he runs, yet again, for the Russian presidency, but we see a system so corrupt that it has re-installed the same mindset of global power acquisition as seen before the fall of the Soviet Union. In fact, it is argued in many circles that not only is the Cold War not over, but the West is now playing defense.
But perhaps the most alarming sign that democracy does not serve the purpose of freedom and/or liberty comes in the report that a faction of the Egyptian "awakening" has announced the formation of a "Nazi party with a contemporary frame of reference."
Let me state that again...Egyptians benefiting from the "Arab Spring" want to form a Nazi Party in that country.
Al-Masry Al-Youm, an Egyptian publication, reports:
With God as my witness, I never thought I would see the day when we would need to address the possibility of having to combat Nazism on the world stage once again.
If, in fact, this newly formed Egyptian Nazi Party organizes in the style of Hamas or Hezbollah – or the American Progressive Movement, for that matter (it is a fact that American organized labor had boots on the ground in Egypt in the beginning days of this so-called "Arab Spring") – what is to keep them from using the democratic process to bring to power a 21st century Nazi Party, complete with a 21st Century "Final Solution" for Israel and the Jews?
We are a constitutional republic because our Founders and Framers understood the absolute danger of a pure democracy. We use a democratic election process to determine the awarding of Electoral College votes by each state, but we do so to empower a constitutionally Republican form of government; a government of laws and not men; a government where the minority's rights are protected just as viciously as the majority's, or so it is supposed to be.
A stunningly frank examination can be viewed here. Succinctly, we in the West – and especially in the United States – should be promoting a move toward liberty in the Middle East, not a move toward democracy.
Democracy leads to democratic socialism, which leads to socialism, which history proves always fails, leading to totalitarian and despotic rule. Anyone with a cursory knowledge of world history understands this. Alas, we do not, today, place any importance on history in our schools. Perhaps that's because progressives are too busy rewriting history. Perhaps that's why we are looking at a resurrection of the Nazi Party in Egypt.
On May 24, 2011, the military government of Egypt announced it was permanently opening its border with the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
If the world screams, "Never again," again will the leaders of the free world hear us? Or are they to busy burying their heads in the sand to care?
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director and Director of Terrorism Research for BasicsProject.org a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He is a member of the International Analyst Network and has been a featured guest on al Jazeera's Listening Post and on Russia Today. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and is a regular guest on talk radio including on The Captain's America Radio Show, nationally syndicated by the Phoenix Broadcasting Network and on NetTalkWorld Global Talk Radio catering to the US Armed Forces around the world. Mr. Salvato is also heard weekly on The Roth Show with Dr. Laurie Roth syndicated nationally on the USA Radio Network. His opinion-editorials have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times & Human Events, BigGovernment.com and are syndicated nationally. He is a featured political writer for EducationNews.org and is occasionally quoted in The Federalist. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.