From Kyle Brady…
With all the recent talk of democracy, peace, and individuals’ freedoms in response to the “Yemen situation”, it’s sometimes difficult to take American politicians at face-value, or even seriously – there may have been an attempted terrorist attack within United States’ territory, but the political infighting, deceit, lies, and general democratic failure continue without abatement. How can the values and ideals of democracy be promoted throughout the world as the solution to unwelcome regimes when it has proven itself so inept during the course of recent history?
Unbridled racism, childlike behavior within Congress, finger-pointing, a year-long debacle to better citizens’ health – these are only the issues that come quickest to mind when pondering the state of American politics within the last year, and there are many more on the list of embarrassments, difficulties, and outright failures. At a time when Americans needed their government the most, in the midst of the Great Recession, billions were handed out to the very financial institutions that are at the heart of the economic collapse, only to have these funds repaid so that outrageous compensation can be given as rewards to the employees that failed to do their job. Even more worrisome, Congress does not wish to spend exorbitant sums on the health and stability of the people they represent, but are willing to finance corporations, line their own pockets, and bicker over unintelligent legislative minutiae that is ultimately of no consequence.
Does this sound like a government that works? Would a nation that is struggling to stay on its feet look to the United States as a shining example of a beautiful democracy that is their single light in the darkness? Even with a highly capable, charismatic, and intelligent President, it would seem that the principles on which a democratic republic were founded - intelligence, integrity, freedom, and rationality – can no longer be expected to apply.
In the case of almost all legislation since President Obama’s Inauguration, the House of Representatives has successfully proposed, debated, and voted on legislation many times over, while the Senate becomes mired in neverending debate in all but a few, rare cases – the simple reason for this is that the House has different procedural regulations than the Senate, wherein the Senate follows a higher level of decorum and allows endless speeches. More importantly, these procedural differences are exacerbated by the most rancorous and vitriolic partisanship, not to mention systemic corruption, that the nation has seen since its birth.
Perhaps before America decides to preach the values of democracy or push for the ideals of peace, the United States should first address these issues at home. Whether the answer lies in reforming some of the rules of Congress, the entire political system, or simply forcing out those representatives that refuse to abide by principles of intelligence and rationality, it would seem that America needs to quickly solve its own political and domestic problems, lest the entire system become a parody of democracy – only then can failed states and hopeful peoples look to the American example of democracy in action.