Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Where To?

One of the folks on my "must read" list is the DiploMad. He recently decided to go by his actual name rather than his blog-alias (nom du blog). I applaud him for his chutzpah in doing so. I don't plan on revealing my super-secret identity any time soon. Though I do believe that my most loyal readers know exactly who I am. (And I hope both of you keep that identity under your hat.)

But we weren't talking about me, were we? No, I was talking about the DiploMad. I love his "About Me" block on his sidebar -

W. Lewis Amselem, long time US Foreign Service Officer; now retired; have served all over the world and under all sorts of conditions. Convinced the State Department needs to be drastically slashed and reformed so that it will no longer pose a threat to the national interests of the United States.
His stories of his time in the Foreign Service run the gamut from terrifying to hysterical. The man can write.

His post from Sunday last really made me think. Go have a look, it's not that long. I'll wait here.

So what did you think?

There is a difference between liberty and democracy. Most of the denizens of the political class have no idea what liberty is. Damn few seem to grasp how a democracy should work.

From yahoo.answers in reply to a question concerning the difference between a republic and a democracy about 7 years ago:
We live in a republic (a group of states that are self governing under the umbrella of a centralized or federal government). The type of system we employ is a representative form of democracy (meaning the people vote for people to represent their views instead of directly participating in every bit of legislation). This was done to weigh the needs of the people (the house of representatives) in balance with the needs of the states (the senate). 
Republic and democracy are descriptions of two different things (one is a form of goverment, the other is the system of goverment). So, for example you have the former Soviet Union, which was a republic, but not a democracy. You also have India, which is a democracy but not a republic. The US is both. N. Korea is neither.

The president is elected through the electoral college system instead of by direct vote so he can be a split between the senate and the house (the states and the population). The electoral college's purpose is one of the most misunderstood in political science.

Republicans have little to do with republics and democrats have little to do with democracy. Both parties support a democratic republic.

The main difference between the parties is how to go about their goals. Both parties want the same things, but disagree as to the means. In general, republicans want people and businesses to be free from government restraints, and democrats believe that government is often the best solution for our nations problems.

For example, race relations. Republicans ended slavery, passed the voting rights act, and passed affirmative action. They thus limited the government's ability to impede someone based on skin color. Democrats have pushed for quota systems under affirmative action, dictating to schools and business who should receive admission. They thus used the government as a solution based tool.

The same with economics. Republicans favor lower taxes as a way to limit the government and allow individuals and businesses to better the economy (capitalism). Democrats prefer to increase taxes, because they believe the goverment is better positioned to better the economic prospects of everyone with the revenues (soft socialism).

Last, in the legal sphere republicans believe courts should rule on laws created by the representative branch of government (the house and senate). Democrats believe that the courts exist to serve society and redress wrongs, even if this may sometimes conflict with current laws.
This answer came from a Political Science Professor. I'm guessing he (or she) is unemployed because his (or her) answer seems a little too balanced and truthful. Just my take on things.


  1. Yeah, he's good! Thanks for the link!

  2. I posted an article on Facebook the other day that is from a similar vein as what your pal from the pinstripe set has written. We shouldn't be backing the Morsi govt, even though they were democratically elected, since it operates no where near a democratically led society. The Brotherhood was already cozy with our terrorist enemies and just continued that once in power in Egypt. I like his position on what our national foreign policy should be- supporting liberty first, democracy second, if that democracy is a true one. We have a history of supporting dictators though, which don't exactly offer liberty in its purest form, but that is the lesser of two evils when the other evil is vowing death to America and anyone considered an infidel. I REALLY like the Poli-Sci Prof's description of the party differences. I plan to use that. The article I referenced is here:

    1. Good article, thanks for the link. That PoliSci Prof's explanation was the best I've ever seen. I was actually able to understand it the first time I read it!

  3. I look at the situation where we're trying to install democracy as a case where the recipients of our efforts only understand it so far as little kids calling out, "Majority rules!"
    They have no concept of consensus or, worse, they don't want consensus.
    It's like, "My way or the highway."

    I'm not even sure why anyone thought it was a good idea to create borders over there.

    1. Good point about the borders. Most in that area of the world are artificial.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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