While I was out in a forest hiking this chilly spring weekend, I started thinking back towards the middle of 2003. The second invasion of Iraq had just started. Ratings for President Bush were sky high and much of the media was focusing on finding Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. Weapons which the presidency had informed the public were the main reason that necessitated swift action instead of continued negotiations.
I have often wondered what caused Bush to rush into this invasion. I have a long list of things it might have been. Everything from family pride, to a desire increase his ratings at the polls, to him truly believing that Saddam had or would soon have the ability to launch an attack on other countries. Personally I hope it was the last one even though that likely indicates he's a bad judge others whom he appointed.
What really matters here is not what caused this mistake, but rather that he's made many mistakes and that he's made few contributions to counter these mistakes. Don't take me for just another ranting democrat. I didn't vote for Kerry because I couldn't bring myself to vote for mediocrity. So in the end I voted for someone I full well knew had no chance to win. While others who voted for that other 3rd, or 4th, or even 5th candidate said they weren't voting for a win, but so eventually there is that 3rd party. I make no such grand illusions to myself. I can't think of any democratic country with a unified people that has more than two significant political parties. Countries that have many political parties tend to have people with different cultures or belief systems, but these countries have other problems. The reason countries with a unified people only have two parties is because it's easier that way since one group usually wins. It's easier for the human brain to conceptualizing winners and losers rather than a nebulous how good are we doing factor. Easier is good for most people because I believe most people tend to be either lazy, stupid, or both. Ideally a government would be made up of the best people for the jobs and there would be no parties. Here is one of my favorite quotes from Winston Churchill: "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."
Looking at history as a guide, every powerful nation eventually falls. Usually they survive for a time in mediocrity, but eventually older nations crumble to the new nations. Sometimes the fall is a long agonizing fall, other times it's a swifter change brought about by a new idea such as bronze, democracy, or anti-slavery. I see lots of things on the horizon that could speed the US's decline. It might be a truly new idea such as curing aging or space colonization. Or it might be a revitalization of an existing idea such as the widening economic separation of the classes, or exhaustion of natural resources. Whatever the reason for the eventual fall no man can effectively argue against the idea that each day that passes is one day nearer to the fall of the US as the dominate world power. So does this mean that the US is going to fall soon? I doubt it since this process from start to fruition tends to take centuries not decades.
I'm not a fan of our existing political system. In other words I'm not a fan of democracy. I would have no bad feelings if a new form of politics came into favor to replace democracy when the eventual revolution in the US happens. Many of the founding fathers of this nation were revolutionists at heart and believed that the nation they made would last only a short time before a new cleansing revolution occurred(Benjamin Franklin actually put a number to this idea of around 100 years). That's a fine concept, but their flaw in logic was that they thought people in a hundred years would care as much about government as they did. As I said before people tend to be lazy or stupid which means the people will ignore the need for a revolution until it is long past due. Since we can't rely on timely revolutions, another solution would be a political system that took into account this part of human nature.
All I really want to do with this editorial is get a few people to think about how democracy isn't as great as most people think it is. It's the current fad and as surely as the US will fall one day, so surely will the dominance of democracy one day fall. Personally I'd love to see a new form of government that uses statistics to filter out the voice of the lazy and stupid so that elections were more of a contest to find the best person for position rather than finding the most popular person. I don't believe the government should be run the way corporations are run, but if a corporation had leadership similar to this country's leadership I think we can agree it would fail rather quickly. We need to find a system that puts better leaders and decision makers into places of power.