Spreading democracy

Spreading democracy

: Robert Mayer, the man behind the wonderful Publius Pundit blog on freedom, reports that the Community of Democracies just ended a meeting in Chile and we’re both amazed how little this organization — which should be the real United Nations, the collection of free nations and peoples — gets coverage in media. He quotes Condi Rice in her speech and I’ll do likewise:

Today, all the members of the Community of Democracies declare our deep conviction that freedom is the universal longing of every soul and democracy is the ideal path for every nation.

The past year has brought forth a dramatic shift in the world’s political landscape. Since our last meeting in Seoul, we have seen free elections in Afghanistan and in Iraq and in the Palestinian territories. We have witnessed tremendous developments in places like Georgia and Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan and Lebanon.

There comes a time when the spark of freedom flashes in the minds of all oppressed people, and they raise their voices against tyranny. The Community of Democracies must match the bravery of these men and women with the courage of our own convictions. We on the right side of freedomís divide have an obligation to help those on the wrong side of that divide….

Democratization is, after all, not an event; it is a process. It takes many years, even decades, to realize the full promise of democratic reform. For nearly a century after the founding of the United States, millions of black Americans like me were still condemned to the status below that of full citizenship. When the founding fathers of America said, “we the people,” they did not mean me. Many of my ancestors were thought to be only three-fifths of a man. And it is only within my lifetime that the United States has begun to guarantee the right to vote for all of our citizens. And so we know in the United States that this is a long and difficult process. And every nation in this room has experienced moments of tyranny in its history — some not too long ago.

Today, our citizens share the common bond of having overcome tyranny through all our commitment to freedom and democracy. Now, it is our historic duty to tell the world that tyranny is a crime of man, not a fact of nature. Our goal must always be the elimination of tyranny in our world.

We at the Community of Democracies must use the power of our shared ideals to accelerate democracyís movement to ever more places around the globe. We must usher in an era of democracy that thinks of tyranny as we thought of slavery today: a moral abomination that could not withstand the natural desire of every human being for a life of liberty and of dignity.

Well said and bravo.

(But by the way, Condi, I can’t leave this without adding that this is exactly why it was wrong for your boss to go hand-holding with an oily tyrant.)