Loopholes into democracies

The aim always had been to change how the other nation defines its national interests

Imran Jan April 18, 2024
The writer is a political analyst. Email: imran.jan@gmail.com. Twitter @Imran_Jan


In American elections, there is the existence of this unreasonable practice called the electoral college vote. If you really think about it, the practice of it basically defies an organic evolution of democracy. The fathers of the US constitution had put this system in place in order to prevent what they called the “excess of democracy”.

For the past 7 or 8 decades, the US in its global affairs has primarily indulged in political engineering, which included propping up jihadists against communist strongmen, military dictatorships against elected leaders, and so forth. The aim always had been to change how the other nation defines its national interests so as to help America further what she believes are her national interests.

The modus operandi involved removing any democratically elected leader of a country where the US saw the policies going in the opposite direction to the pursuit of American national interests. Using a military rule justified by the judicial koshering of the dictatorship, the US was able to further its national interests by basically denying the people of the country its right of self-determination and enable what we today call the erosion of democracy, which by the way is one of the leading threats to world peace. The loophole in Third World countries has always been at the top; install a friendly regime, provide money and weapons, thereby doing the opposite of what the citizenry of the host nation desired.

There are loopholes in the American elections such as the electoral college and campaign finance. They are available to be exploited by those players who may want to indulge in what should rightly be called electoral engineering. There are, however, loopholes into policies especially foreign policy. There is something called lobbying that happens mostly in Washington DC. While many American scholars and media pundits regard lobbying as a legitimate existence in the practice of American democracy and American policies, I, however, still have to reach a level of intelligence or rather mental discipline where I can see the damaging role of the lobbies as not anti-democratic.

I mean think about it for a moment: American citizens vote for a certain candidate to become the House Representative or a Senator or even a President. These elected officials are supposed to reflect in their work what the American people elected them for. Enter lobbies. These entities unbeknownst to the people, basically come in and using a variety of methods convince the elected officials to support a certain policy, which the American people never heard of and never elected the public official for. How could that be a legitimate existence in any democracy is beyond my intelligence to understand. Lo and behold, that doesn’t stop the continued existence of lobbies in America. Israel is the one nation that manipulates the US foreign policy more than anyone can even imagine. Many Americans are opposed to Israeli actions in Palestinian Territories but their elected officials ignore the public opinion and blindly support Israeli actions. This is mainly because of the active work by pro-Israel lobbies such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Perhaps the road for any nation to safeguard its national interests is not to fight the US head on or for the public to be angry about the damaging US role in their affairs, but rather to keep separate funds for using it to exploit this loophole in American democracy. Just as the US goes for a preemptive war in its global approach for American security and national interests, other nations can also act preemptively and exploit the loopholes inside American governmental machinery. America achieves its goals globally by disrupting democracies, not propping them up. Other nations can also disrupt the American democracy by lobbying for things, which may not be what the American citizenry want or even be aware of. Artists use lies to tell the truth. Anti-democratic acts elsewhere may have to be supported to protect democracy at home. That’s what Israel and India are doing.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2024.

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