“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” – Winston Churchill, 1947

I was talking with a friend today about the tragedy of countries where a benevolent monarch or dictator – someone good and kind and truly caring of the people – is succeeded by some corrupt idiot who causes untold suffering. I found myself conjecturing that in such situations one of the benefits of family succession from parent to child is that a monarch’s own child is more likely to remain true to the ideals of the original ruler. This might tend to help maintain stability and decent rule for a few generations. But of course – as history consistently shows – sooner or later the wrong descendent ascends to the throne, and then the situation quickly goes to hell.

And so I found myself thinking about Churchill’s famous dictum – something he said, by the way, after he had been voted out of power, and before he had been voted back in again. Our nation has just been through a terrible time – a disastrous war, an erosion of civil liberties, natural disaster met by government incompetence, lack of federal oversight leading to financial meltdown, the list goes on and on.

And yet when push came to shove, we still had the power to throw the bums out – to give somebody else a chance to try another way, for better or worse. This remains our greatest strength, and the greatest legacy bequeathed by the founders of this nation.

With all of the problems we face, it is worth taking at least a moment to give thanks that we have managed to hold on to a system of government that empowers its citizens to give themselves another chance.

2 Responses to “Democracy”

  1. troy says:

    Always beware the rule of the unwashed masses…

  2. admin says:

    Yes Troy, I know what you mean. If only the American people would take a bath once in a while.

    Oh wait, hold on a sec, I just checked the stock market. Well gosh darn, will you look at that! They are taking a bath right now….


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