We hear a lot about “Democracy” these days. We’re told that’s all the Libyan rebels want, the same as those in Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Hamas and all their screaming, fist-shaking brethren, everywhere. True, they wish to depose those who have abused them, but when and if they do that, will they really plant the Tree of Democracy in their home soil, to grow into a great, overarching institution, protecting future generations from tyranny? Or will they choose, as history demonstrates, to live under Sharia law? In the Muslim culture, it’s not really a matter of choice. Proper government in Islam is always some form of theocracy. That means that there is no “separation of Church and State” (or Mosque and State, in this case).
It is intellectually inconsistent (read indefensible) to argue against displaying the Ten Commandments, crosses, stars of David, etc. on public property (for reasons of the separation of Church and State) while also arguing for the rights of Muslims to be tried under Sharia law in American courts. Our system of jurisprudence already allows for exclusion from specific laws for reasons of religion, such as the provision of alternate service for conscientious objectors. But the push for Sharia law is untenable. It violates the “equal protection” clause of the Constitution by applying different legal definitions, standards and punishments, all based on Islamic cultural traditions which are incompatible with our Western, secular society.
Under Sharia law, women are not considered equal to men. They don’t have the same rights and privileges. Also under Sharia law, non-Muslims are not allowed the same rights and privileges as Muslims. How this can be considered acceptable to anyone in the West who values sexual equality and religious freedom is beyond me. For Sharia law to be compatible with “Democracy”, all reason must be abandoned. And that’s just another example of Michael Savage’s byword, “Liberalism is a mental disorder.”
We also hear labor unions voicing their lofty concerns for “Democracy” and the American middle class. They seek to preserve their sacrosanct institution of collective bargaining, which precariously rests on the chopping block of a State government desperate to bring some sanity to its imploding budget. Never mind that in other States, controlled by Democrats, government employees are not given the option of collective bargaining. Never mind that inflated public employee pension plans and health insurance costs are bankrupting State budgets. Never mind that private-sector employees with smaller pensions and fewer benefits are having to foot the bill for the favored class of unionized public employees. Unionists would have us believe collective bargaining is the bastion of Democracy. Sounds more like Communism to me.
I used to have a high opinion of the principle of collective bargaining. Historically, it contributed to improved working and living conditions for many Americans. But by and large, that’s all in the past. Laws affecting the work place have greatly improved the lot of the American worker, and unions no longer are the leading force in that cause. My personal experiences with unions convince me that their single greatest influence in the work place is to perpetuate mediocrity. Unproductive employees that should be fired, keep their positions until retirement. Employees with a superior work ethic are discouraged from out-performing others because everyone is paid the same. There is no incentive to excel.
I have paid dues to four different unions. In each case, the union didn’t get me the job. I got hired first, then had to join the union, except in the case of the Postal Service. I had the option to join or not join. At first I didn’t join, but after some consideration decided it would make my job more secure. However, I was never in the position of needing the union to help me because I was a good employee. I was looked down on by some of my fellow employees because I basically did what my supervisors asked and didn’t display the adversarial attitude typical of good union members. After more than ten years I quit the union. This was after they won a court case which permitted them to spend my union dues on political causes that I opposed. I didn’t think that was very “Democratic” of them.
14 Democrat senators in Wisconsin left the State to go into hiding, so that a vote to end collective bargaining for government employees would be prevented. They knew the vote wouldn’t go their way, so they left. To them, “Democracy” is something that only involves voting and the will of the majority when the outcome is assured to go their way. When they are in the minority, then “Democracy” can mean anything that gets you what you want. “Democracy” to them includes reckless and even illegal mob activity and the irresponsibility of refusing to do your job as an elected official (while continuing to be paid). They are like children chanting, “Vote our way or we won’t play!”
The common thread I see in all these examples is that for many, the word “Democracy” just means “Give me what I want.” It’s the hew and cry of groups that are not society at large, but segments of society that elevate their particular group’s desires above those of everyone else. Surely, the bulk of humanity wishes the best for everyone. Don’t we all, or at least most of us, want everyone to attain to their aspirations? At the very least, along with life and liberty, we should all have the same opportunity to pursue our own happiness. Using the analogy of everyone wanting a piece of the pie, “Democracy” is often like an unruly crowd surrounding a single pie. There’s no way everyone will get a piece of it.
That’s why “Democracy” doesn’t work in the real world. It’s an abstraction. What we mean when we say democracy actually is a very general reference to representational republics made up of officials elected to office by their citizens. It doesn’t mean that every little segment of society gets what it wants. It doesn’t mean that government is supposed to solve everyone’s problems or meet everyone’s needs. It means that each individual should have the equal liberty under the law to prepare his own pie and enjoy it without the fear of a selfish mob tearing it to pieces before his very eyes. At least that’s how I see many of today’s appeals to so-called “Democracy”.