Friday, June 28, 2002

Ok, I'll talk about it in the next one, because Sweet Zombie Jesus, I actually agree with Sullivan!

So what? The point is that as a simple mobster, he has only his henchmen to answer to. As a mobster with an actual democratic base, he'll have other pressures that can only lead to good. I'm an optimist on democracy. Even if the elected leader is a thug, he has legitimacy, he can be dealt with, we can negotiate. All this handwringing from the usual suspects is overblown. Democracy works. And may always surprise us. Remember what some thought would happen in Nicaragua under free elections? Besides, by demanding elections, Bush puts the US back on a clear pro-democracy path. That will help with Iran. And China.
Now, the nonsensical "democracy will always triumph" stuff aside, Sully makes a legitimate point, one that I've been pointing out for a while- that if Arafat is elected in a free and fair election as part of an similarly free and fair electoral system(which is possible), he becomes a very different animal than what we're dealing with right now. He becomes a leader with both the foreign (read: American) perception of legitimacy and responsibility, and both are double-edged swords that can as easily cut the beneficiary as the voters who convey it.

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