Is Democracy Unique?

I have had the pleasure of discussing the benefits and costs of Democracy with a few dozen people from countries representing many forms of government across the globe the past few days on a Linkedin.com discussion group.  I was asked what it is that differentiates Democracy.

I know that our system of government has let America down.  All governments have for they are formed by the frailties of humanity. Americans ring true, however, that our government of the people has also picked us up time and time again.  We wear our scars openly, and proclaim the remarkable feats of the delegates who struggled together in Philadelphia to create our freedom experiment.

It may sound cynical to focus on this one issue above others, but I think the very best thing about Democracy in whatever form is that power transfers peacefully.  Every two years, I still witness the process with respectful awe.  

Our political system is influenced by the theory that power corrupts. We can vote corruption of thought out of office. We can impeach absolute corruption. And we can reverse even the will of the masses through our courts if we veer from our constitution.  Anyone wishing to amend our guiding document must pass through the twin guardians of constitutional convention and super majority.

The price of this incredible freedom is the messy, grindingly slow pace of progress that non-democracies find intolerable.  I would not have it any other way.

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Filed under American Governance, Bureaucracy, Social Media Democracy

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