I have been following this presidential election ardently for the past several weeks. I watched both the 1st presidential and the vice-presidential debate, listened to those political analysts on CNN, read online political Blogs, and even studied the much-criticized Electoral College system. One thing I can honestly say after all these: I love democracy!!!
Don’t get me wrong though. I am not claiming democracy is the savior to all the sins in this world. I do know that democracy has its serious limitations. In some cases, it can fail miserably. (Well, just look at this guy right now and you know what I mean.) The line between democracy and dictatorship can be unbelievably blurred sometimes. Average Joes, like you and me, are always the ones that got pushed around and abused. However, when you watch those guys debating on TV, you have to laugh and tip your hat for their effort. Take Mr. Bush for an example: during the first debate you can definitely tell that he is not well-equipped to handle situations like this. He simply couldn’t talk and eventually made a great fool out of himself in the first debate. There were moments he even had problems locating his own tongue. Nonetheless, he has tried his best to impress the viewers and attract potential voters. This is what I love about democracy: the EFFORT that’s been displayed.
It’s not about the final result. (As I stated earlier, poor average Joes always suffer and wealthy assholes always rule regardless how the government is constructed.) It’s all about the effort. Presidential candidates will get down on their knees if by doing that they can win more votes. They will try their best to please you. This is done in two steps. Step 1: Set up numerous polls to ask people various questions on all kinds of topics. Step 2: Candidates pretend to be your friend by saying the things majority of the people like or support. Repeat these two steps over and over, and you get a Presidential race. (Of course, you need to get dirty if you seriously want to win. Tricks such as demonizing or womanizing your opponent may help.) Candidates all invest a great deal in a race, including time, energy, and money. Candidates also have to face potential public humiliation and ridicule day-in and day-out. Politics is a tough business and no one wins easy. All these effort displayed by candidates to win the general public's heart is exactly the fundamental difference between democracy and autocracy. In an autocracy, the government bacially are uninterested in you, and two way dialogs are rare and discouraged. They genuinely don’t give a damn about how you feel. They won’t even attempt to lie to you to make you happy. They don’t do polls on sensitive topics. They don’t need your inputs. You are always the last one to be informed on any critical decisions. As a mater of fact, they don’t even want you to think (let alone the talking part), but rather they just want you to listen and follow. This effortlessness is something really bothers me. It hurts my pride and amplifies my insignificance, especially when pride is something that I don’t have much left and my insignificance is something that I hate people to remind me of.
Therefore, I like democracy better. The illusion of being important is simply beautiful.