America and the Method of Bush: Why do we simply assume that democratization will be a good thing?

Below, from a reader, is a discussion of the type of central, unavoidable concern about democratization that, as I indicated in the last blog entry, has to my knowledge never been seriously addressed to or seriously addressed by any senior member of the Bush administration, namely, even if Moslem countries became democratic, wouldn’t that only unleash jihadism? Such negative potential consequences of democracy (and not just potential, but actual and current—see this and this and this and this and this) used to be part of the common sense of the American people, or at least of Republicans and conservatives. But President Bush, through his unique method of leadership, which we might call the Method of Bush, has made such common sense disappear from our national politics.

Here, based on interviews with Bush and Rice that I’ve written about previously at VFR (see this and this), plus general observations, is the Method of Bush.

  • First, he absorbs the wisdom of the neoconservatives, perhaps through long sessions with leading neocons at the White House, about how all people in the world love their children and long for and are ready for democracy.
  • Second, through gut instinct, he decides that the neocon way is the one true way and commits himself to it.
  • Third, through prayer, he gets regular assurances that the way he has chosen is the right way.
  • Fourth, by having his twin brain Condoleezza Rice glued to his side seven hours a day (though that has presumably changed since she moved from the White House to Foggy Bottom), he gets further continual reinforcements that the way he has chosen is the only right way and that he simply must ignore all other thoughts, all criticisms and quibbles about the prospects of Moslem democracy (which criticisms, she tells him, are simply an expression of racial condescension toward Moslems, an issue she has a deep understanding of as a result of her girlhood in the pre-Civil Rights South), and stay the course no matter what.
  • Fifth, through some kind of psychological hold that he exercises over millions of people, he gets them to identify totally with him and with the course he has chosen, and to forget all the contrary thoughts that were once common currency among them as reasonably intelligent Americans—such as that a single election does not a democracy make, such as that democracy can bring the worst people to power.
  • And so Bush turns the American people into fixed-eyed zombies like himself, pursuing a course that makes no sense, refusing to ask the most elementary logical questions about it. Just as Falstaff was the cause of wit in other men, Bush is the cause of witlessness in other men, a one-man national stupefaction machine.

Of course, this description applies mainly to the right half of America. The left half of America is stupefied, not as a result of blind identification with Bush, but as a result of blind hatred of Bush. One way or another, Bush stupefies everyone.

So, after that introduction, which was inspired by an e-mail from an Indian citizen living in the West, here is the e-mail itself.

An Indian citizen living in the West writes:

Aside from the fact that there is inherent delusion in the notion that democracy will somehow just spring up in Muslim nations, there is an even more dangerous delusion that it would be a good in itself, that it would be good for the civilized world. Believe me, we don’t want democracy in the Middle East. Consider the following:

(1) In 1992, a virulently Jihadist political faction won the elections in Algeria. This triggered a civil war in that country that rages on to this day. Hundreds of thousands have been hacked to death by the Islamists and their opponents.

(2) Osama Bin Laden has the enthusiastic support of more than 40 percent of the electorate in Saudi Arabia (in fact some knowledgeable commentators say a majority). If he could run for an election in Saudi Arabia, he would win a majority of the seats.

(3) In Lebanon, the Hezbollah is an enormously powerful political force in its own right.

(4) In Pakistan, if the current military dictatorship stepped aside and held free and fair elections, radical Islamist parties would win. This is no laughing matter. Remember, Pakistan already has Nuclear Weapons. Opinion polls consistently show that some 65 percent of Pakistanis sympathise with Bin Laden.

(5) Among the Palestinians, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have emerged as the second most powerful political force in recent elections.

(6) There is much talk about dissidents in Iran that have become pro-western. But the fact is that radical Islamists still enjoy considerable support among the populace. The revolution of 1979 was a popular expression of public will. A clear majority of Iranians supported it at the time. And look what happened.

Either the Bush Administration is genuinely deluded about what democracy will achieve or it is deliberately lying to the public. Democracy in the Middle East would do nothing but only empower the most dangerous jihadist demagogues and drive them to political power. It would be far worse than having secular dictators ruling those nations.

Democracy will in any event only be a temporary phenomenon. Because once the radical Islamists gain power, they will destroy all dissent, jail or kill dissidents and impose their idea of a good political order. Thus, any experimentation with democracy would be short lived. The opinions and the demagogues that elections would unleash would destroy the very things that a society needs in order to establish democracy.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 14, 2005 09:16 AM | Send

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