In Robert A. Heinlein's Glory Road a rather supercilious character asks our hero Oscar whether "the Great Experiment" is still going on in the USofA. Oscar, thinking that the character is referring to Prohibition, replies that, no, it had been done away with. The questioner is a bit surprised and asks what the Republic had been replaced with; a King, perhaps, or a Dictator?
I too am reminded of this: A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, "A republic, if you can keep it." And of course, there is a major difference between a "republic" and a "democracy". However, that is not the thrust of this editorial. What I'm writing about is the effort to establish a "democratic" form of government in Iraq.
It was a happy accident that allowed the Founders of the US to create the republican form of government that (theoretically at least) holds sway in North America. And it required a certain necessary mindset of the people being governed. I have nothing but sadness for the way that Iraqis were treated under Saddam Hussein, and agree that they should be allowed to govern themselves. But will they? And in fact, do we govern ourselves? I'm reminded of a couple of scriptures in the book of Jeremiah. "Man has dominated man to his injury." and "It is not within man to direct his own steps." Well, we'll just have to see, won't we.
Take care and as always, please write!
Copyright © 2003 by Jerry Wright for Bewildering Stories