Welcome to Dumbfuckistan

When you ask anyone in a Muslim country why they wouldn’t prefer a western-style government (aka “democracy”), they will say one of two things.

The first is that it puts the law of man above the law of God. These are the people that want Sharia law. They believe the brutal, arbitrary rule of mullahs is a better alternative than the brutal, arbitrary rule of dictators or kings. These people have no history or tradition of liberal democracy to refer to. Their model has always been, Big Strong Man seizes power, uses the wealth of the country as his own, stays for life.

The second is that elections are the equivalent of two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. This glib aphorism betrays a complete lack of understanding of what western government is all about.

Elections are only a small part of how we govern ourselves, not nearly the most important thing that defines the brilliance of the founding documents. Some of  the other elements we take for granted include,

Rule of law – not even the president is above the law.

No tyranny of the majority – minority rights are assured, particularly political minorities. The wolves are not allowed to eat the lamb for lunch.

Independent judiciary – free from political control

Free press – you can say or print any opinion or dissent

Loyal opposition – all sides are part of the legislative process

Local and state administrations all living under a unified federal system. You can make your own local laws, but you can’t go crazy.

No armed factions – this is the one that plagues ALL third-world countries.

And then there is the most important of all: the peaceful transfer of power.

Whoever is elected is expected to be the president of all of us, even those who voted against him, and work for our common interest. We accused Saddam Hussein of gassing “his own people”, i.e. Iraqis. But he understood that “his people” were Tikriti Sunnis. He figured, to hell with the the Kurds or the Marsh Arabs.

In this country, when you lose an election, you smile, make a speech congratulating your opponent, and go away. This is the main thing that accounts for our political stability, our domestic tranquility, and the confidence of our international treaty partners. In “Palestine”, it makes no difference whether Abbas signs a peace treaty or not – you can bet Hamas will keep shooting.

Last night Donald Trump refused to accept that the election wouldn’t be rigged against him. For the first time, the peaceful transfer of power is not a given.

Welcome to Dumbfuckistan.

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