The Democracy Doctrine
: President Bush didn’t go quite far enough in his very good speech that called upon Arab nations to move to democracy.
I say the time has come to establish a Democracy Doctrine.
It is time to say that it is unacceptable for people to be governed without democratic rights.
No, this doesn’t mean that we will invade and reform the world’s undemocratic lands — though, when there is a need to respond militarily in a nation because of tyranny or threat, what is left afterwards must be a democracy.
What this does mean is that we set a standard of democracy throughout the world. We set an expectation that all nations and all peoples should live in democracies.
Undemocratic regimes rob their citizens of their inherent rights of self-government and their inherent respect as human beings.
As Bush quoted Ronald Reagan yesterday: “He argued that Soviet communism had failed, precisely because it did not respect its own people — their creativity, their genius and their rights.”
This means that we should give democracies greater privileges in their dealings with us.
This means that we should expect other democracies to stand with us to support and expect the spread of democracy through the rest of the world.
It’s a simple doctrine but the best and clearest doctrines are quite simple, for they give context to so much more:
We expect every human on earth to have the right to participate equally in the selection of his or her government and we will not rest until we see all our fellow man live in peace and democracy.