Democratic principles going under the bus

  • Stick to the plan: Donald Trump continues to command a strong support base despite an unflinching capacity to rub people the wrong way (Photograph by Alex Brandon/AP)

    Stick to the plan: Donald Trump continues to command a strong support base despite an unflinching capacity to rub people the wrong way (Photograph by Alex Brandon/AP)


Around the world, there are multiple conversations taking place about the troubling subject of powerful nations with highly questionable leadership playing diplomatic games that could have consequences for millions.

With so many areas of deeply disturbing events, even some of the best minds are challenged to read just where our global society is heading.

On the surface, it is more than troubling that with so much scientific progress in technology in all aspects of life, the one factor that eludes just about every nation on earth is the ability to place values such as respect for decency and truth as a priority in confronting situations where human rights are grossly violated, producing unimaginable suffering to men, women and children.

The extent of suffering varies according to conditions in regions scattered about across the earth. Sadly, there are those who feel if it is not happening in their backyard, then why should they worry. However, the world is a much smaller place when there are nations with powerful weapons that if ever used could make the world everyone’s backyard. Global communication also means that world leaders are more challenged by a powerful free press in democratic environments, when they display conduct that contravenes the basic principles of freedom and respect.

This, perhaps, is a reason why many people today have crumbling faith in some politicians, who in large and small countries are reluctant to stand for what they know is truth if it could damage their particular status among supporters.

Nothing new there. But when something occurs that leaves little room for political cover and a politician, whether or not they a leader, refuses to hold the banner of decency as a key principle, the media and every citizen have a right to demand the truth.

America is facing one of the most tension-filled elections in its history, with one of the most controversial presidents to occupy the White House. While Donald Trump continues to maintain strong base support, veteran expert observers who have watched Republicans and Democrats over the years, have expressed views that democracy in America is at risk.

They cite the President’s close relations with powerful dictators, and some observers feel deep down that Trump wishes he had the kind of control where no one, most significantly the media, dared to question his motives.

It was not too long ago that Trump referred to the free press as the enemy of the people. It is common knowledge that dictators crush resistance, and have no room for the free press. Without journalists, stories such as the recent disclosure of children suffering in a detention facility for illegal immigrants near the US border might have been swept under the political carpet.

Reports of detainees being forced to drink toilet water was almost incomprehensible under American control. Again, journalists have to report what they uncover, without being concerned about a government’s image. When informed of immigrants suffering at the hands of border control authorities, the White House reaction was: if you don’t like the conditions, don’t come here.

That was not a comment expected from a nation founded by immigrants.

Despite all of this, one should still remain positive because the people will soon have a choice that is a part of the democratic process in bringing about change.

Unless they make their voices heard through the ballot boxes, it is quite possible the principles of democracy could be tossed under the bus.

No right-thinking American wants that.

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Published Jul 16, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Jul 16, 2019 at 7:29 am)

Democratic principles going under the bus

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