Listening to the PBS news this morning I heard an article on Condoleza Rice testifying before congress. This is for her confirmation as new Secretary of State. Yes, I was going to avoid this type of story, too much for my blood pressure, but I switched over from commercials and was waiting for the local garden spot to come up so waited through the news.
The story played parts of her testimony. One line I found interesting was about the direction that she and the president would be pushing the country – spreading democracy around the globe. It sounded like an evangelist on a mission, to make the world a better place through democracy. Kind of like a religious missionary, out to save the world.
For some reason I find this kind of offensive. Somebody stating outright that their way is better, they know more than you and you are not capable of making a decision yourself, you need to be ‘saved’.
Sorry, I think I can save myself, and when were you chosen to be my savior? The world did not select the United States to be the savior for democracy. Most of the world would rather have us just stuff our opinions and keep our ideas to ourselves. Missionaries come to my front door to ‘save’ me? Sorry, keep your ideas to yourself, I don’t want to go to your heaven, let me go where I want to go, I don’t want to be saved by you.
Why not spread democracy through good works? I read where we are spending around $3 million per hour in Iraq. Per hour. Over $200 billion so far, with requests about to be made to congress for another $200 billion.
How far would that go in providing housing for the families in my own town that are living in their cars, or health care for the kids in my daughter’s class that have never seen a doctor or dentist, or warm beds for all of those guys sleeping under the freeway overpass? How far would that go in providing food for the drought areas of Africa, where thousands die every year of starvation? How far would that go in providing new homes for the Sri Lanka wandering after the tidal wave?
I can think of better ways to spread democracy than through force.