A Democratic World

It is one of the best articles I’ve read recently regarding the difference between Democrat and Replublican parties, as well as what is missing from this country’s politic scene since 1970’s. From current issue of The New Yorker (02-16-2004): A DEMOCRATIC WORLD –Can liberals take foreign policy back from the Republicans?, by GEORGE PACKER.

Perhaps this was a shrewd political intuition on Bush¡¯s part¡ªa recognition that Americans, for all their passion after September 11th, would inevitably slouch back to their sofas. It¡¯s fair to ask, though, how a body politic as out of shape as ours is likely to make it over the long, hard slog of wartime; how convincingly we can export liberal democratic values when our own version shows so many signs of atrophy; how much solidarity we can expect to muster for Afghanis and Iraqis when we¡¯re asked to feel so little for one another.

¡°Why does not democracy believe in itself with passion?¡± Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., asked in ¡°The Vital Center,¡± his 1949 book about totalitarianism and America¡¯s anxious postwar mood. ¡°Why is freedom not a fighting faith?¡± The only hope (Schlesinger turned to Walt Whitman for the words¡ªwho else?) lay in ¡°the exercise of Democracy.¡± The process of struggling for freedom, accepting conflict, tolerating uncertainty, joining community¡ªthis would allow democracy to survive and not die. What if we now find ourselves, at this stage of thickening maturity, in the middle of a new crisis that requires us to act like citizens of a democracy? It¡¯s impossible to know how the public would respond to a political party that spoke about these things¡ªbecause, so far, no party has.