Now I happen to be one of those who – though a non-American myself – always believed in American leadership never questioned (effectively) the perception of strength of the American model of Democracy & Liberalism. This view however has been shattered to smithereens for a few simple reasons, and here’s the summary;
- The political chaos with the election of Trump – an utterly unqualified human being at every level thinkable – where long standing values have been brushed aside swiftly by something as simple as a stroke of a pen; this with the active/enthusiastic support of the GOP Congress, political elites and of course the good old lobbyists.
- The racial divide one see’s taking hold at every level of government and demonstrated so vividly by continued brutality by security forces towards the African American community and minority groups.
- Religious tolerance that is being continuously undermined not just by the current leadership but also by a large section of the population.
- Though mentioned before but deserves a separate point; Lobbyist/Special interest groups that have hijacked the country and infected all levels of government/public institutions as well as the media.
So now when look to the United States for guidance on values or as a moral compass it should be used as an inverse example of the these things and as a model to use to learn lessons from in addressing shortcomings of our perceptions of Democracy/Liberal & Progressive politics. It should also be used as a stark example of Capitalism/Globalisation taken to extremes.
In a way Putin’s Russia through it’s meddling of western elections may have done us all a big favour in allowing us the opportunity to look in the mirror and examine our own flaws/vulnerabilities not only on the security front but also when it comes to our political/social values; the values/beliefs that we’ve taken for granted for much too long. It is now our choice – and our choice alone – in terms of how we deal with these realities. As for America it may need to come down that high hill and follow for a change – and this should NOT be perceived as a bad thing in of itself, because as they were looking at other healthcare models during the ACA debate, they should do the same with the Gun control issue and look at the Australian model. Remember this not a Might Makes Right proposition. You see what I am getting at here;
- The focus has to be on solving real issues rather than being the lead model which is quite a restrictive way to achieve the ultimate objective of solving problems.
- Democracy & Liberalism have base values that I feel should articulated / defended and used as the base principles just as we do agree on the principles of Human Rights – not that we defend those effectively. But beyond those basic principles, actual models can very from one country to another, and that’s OK because it allows our Democratic/Liberal governance models to evolve/adapt with time. That’s why when we talk about proposed changes to the judiciary in Poland this is indeed a matter of principle of Democratic governance and NOT merely a matter different model.
My final point here is that sometimes it helps to move away from our problems / anxieties and try to reflect/consider the big picture along with lessons from the past so we can make better judgements for our future.
**Note: Viewer discretion is advised if you decide to in watch the video but if you can at least watch how the officer is dealing with the situation and talk to me about police restraint-but you make your own judgement. For me this level of brutality was truly shocking to the core – this compounded by the verdict reached.