Friday, July 28, 2006

that word "democracy"--I do not think it means what you think it means

In the upside-down world of Bush, the word "democracy" has been stripped of all substantive meaning. From Yglesias:

"There's a lot of suffering in the Palestinian Territory because militant Hamas is trying to stop the advance of democracy."

As Yglesias points out, this statement would be more true had Hamas not come to power through a democratic initiative which Bush himself spearheaded. I am not sure what idea is present in Bush's brain when he utters the word, but it bears little relation to how the word is generally understood on this planet. My guess is that the word "democracy" is being co-opted to join other code words used to appeal to so-called values voters, like "family", "morality", and "faith". Each of these terms, roughly translated from the new lexicon, means "something we have that the other side doesn't."

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