Our pandemic-hit world is witnessing a bizarre sight this week: the United States is hosting a ‘Democracy Summit’, while ignoring its own ills and the need to combat the COVID-19 virus, which has taken its toll To the population. host country.
However, it is obvious that American democracy has been infected by the politics of money, masked under the guise of “one person, one vote”. Over the years, this style of democracy has not only brought death and trauma to the people of the United States. , but other people in the world.
From the country’s inception, the founders of the United States wanted to establish a “beacon of democracy”, but since then democracy has declined to the point of being a rich man’s game.
Marcus Hanna was an American businessman and Republican politician who served as a senator in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and served as chairman of his party’s national committee. He was a prototype of the political kingmaker who promoted presidential candidate William McKinley to the White House in 1897, and reportedly said, “There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money, and I don’t remember the second. “
In 2020, President Joe Biden backed up Hanna’s words by claiming the largest donation of any presidential campaign and spending several times Hanna’s amount.
The United States appears to be immersed in a process of “politics of capital”, with money filtering through the system to influence elections, legislation and administrations, much to the delight of an elite group of capitalists. .
Yet capital-controlled media, especially the new realm of social media, has long propagated the idea of “one person, one vote”. Unfortunately, they ignore the legislative relaxation of limits on corporate fundraising by candidates, which effectively legalizes systemic corruption in US elections.
And the same media are hailing redrawing of electoral district boundaries and rule changes, which come at the cost of undermining the will of voters. It also occurs against a backdrop of Islamophobia and racism in a polarized American society.
The White House and the US State Department have long “promoted democracy” and compelled other countries to “follow our guidance”. From Pan-Americanism in the 19th century to various revolutions in Eurasia, to the recent Arab Spring in the Middle East and North Africa, the long arms of the United States have orchestrated the overthrow of governments to suit their own needs, leaving the societies in chaos. and millions of people suffering.
Worse still, Washington’s military intervention in South America, the Middle East and Central Asia has left hundreds of thousands dead, many of them civilians, and millions more homeless.
Today, the US State Department speaks of its “ability to recognize its shortcomings and deal with them openly and transparently.” But they are slow to right wrongs against non-white residents, let alone compensate people for the loss of life and property in other countries targeted over the past decades under the cover of state-led spread. United in their form of democracy.
Instead, the United States prefers to trigger “blame games” and is keen to highlight “authoritarianism, corruption and human rights” problems, but only in other countries, although sure. When will US politicians answer human rights questions about the more than 790,000 people who have died of COVID-19 in their country, many of whom could be alive today if the situation had been better handled.
If American politicians are indeed sincere about confronting the imperfections of American-style democracy, they should prioritize this summit to find solutions to save lives, both in the United States and in the developing world. , and stop hampering people’s livelihoods if they have no way to improve them.
Above all, saving lives is the best way to show respect for human rights. If the United States cleanses its own house of systemic corruption and its devastating intervention in the affairs of other countries, it will be a decision welcomed by all.
The author is executive director of the Center for Global & Strategic Studies, a think tank based in Islamabad, Pakistan.