COTANGENT – By Daphne Cardillo
This seeming fixation with double standard in the United States government’s attitude towards democracy–guarding it vehemently in its own land while paying lip service or downright supporting undemocratic practices in other lands–is to me a matter of logistics.
The United States government can only afford to maintain democracy as a political system in its homeland in order to support its capitalist economy. It will support democracy in other countries only up to a certain point, and at a price (e.g. foreign aid, foreign investment), but may have to condone despotic governments if their economies feed on the American free-enterprise market. Americans, still, are the most nationalistic people in the world.
This double standard could also be a case of arrested development, continually being fixated with the Machiavellian maxim “the end justifies the means,” thereby leading to the practice of employing any questionable means or conflicting methods as a last if not only recourse to
achieve a relatively specific goal or end. Ethics is set aside, and Americans
want results, results, and like to get things done fast, according to their own rules.
We have to face the situation that with all its benevolence, the United States government has a lot to protect; its resources, its image, its ageing population plagued with afflictions brought about by over-
consumption, its way of life, and its economic and political system that is slowly being eaten by its own excesses.
So the United States has to fork out its policies; one prong towards its citizens in the mainland, another prong towards its citizens abroad, and another towards those people belonging to the rest of the globe.
For as the great Chilean poet and Nobel Prize Laureate Pablo Neruda laments, where is “the United States of long ago, with its beautiful mountains, its inexhaustible rivers, and, what it seems to have lost, its capacity to be sufficient unto itself, without bathing the world in blood.”