Some people in Muslim cultures identify democracy with the worst of Western popular culture, and want no part of it.They shouldn't worry; democracy isn't all really part of (Western) popular culture, anyhow. Well, the voting isn't. Except for reality TV shows. Those are some democracy loving people. What we need is some kind of immunity challenge for Kerry ;)
The article is pretty good, I suppose. But there's nothing new in it. The book he reviews sounds offensive, though- even to me (not a big fan of religious zealotry). I do wish the red-state peoples would vote with their material interests in mind, though.
Damn, the democrats would kick some serious (electoral) ass if people voted in their best material interests. Recall the old saw: Want to live like a Republican? Vote like a Democrat.
It is, in some small way, impressive that people vote counter to their own worldly interests. I mean, it takes some powers of concentration to ignore your poverty and powerlessness in favor of some distant final reward. Another person might call them powers of self-delusion, but whatever. The point remains that these people do some serious gratification-deferral, which is something that we frequently point to as a Good Thing.
On the flip side, liberal people do it, too. A significant portion of liberal voters vote counter to their best economic interests (short term, maybe- there's dissention on the part of economists) with the same regularity. They, too, seem to be deferring material gratification in favor of some nebulous reward. The reward seems to be liberty, equality, and fraternity, at least in concept.
What's the common thread, there?
I think that both of these types of deferral of gratification are obscuring an immediate gratification: the heady intoxication of self-righteousness. Like Tom Papa said, "Look: this is me... better than you..."
Many, many, people are voting in a manner that makes them feel good. Is it inborn? Is it the result of chance chemistry, like the predispostion to a sweet-tooth? God only knows.
Bill O'Reilly makes me SO mad! I want Americans to be safe. I do not want to deprive U.S. citizens of their rights. I do not want my government to torture people. Are these things so difficult to understand? So difficult to reconcile?
I really, really don't want to die. And I don't want my loved ones, or the loved ones of anyone else to die. But I also don't endorse evil acts... and call me crazy, but shouldn't we make it the priority of our government to govern in a manner consistent with the values of good people?
Good people don't want their goals achieved at any cost. There are costs that are too high. How is that difficult at all to get?
Damn Bill, and damn those who would torture in my name.
Why, you say?
Because by their acts, they damn me.