March 30, 2005

(d)emocratization and (D)emocrats

Carroll Andrew Morse

Noam Scheiber has upgraded his New Republic blog entry on the subject of President Bush’s focus on democratization eventually helping the Democratic party to a full-blown New York Times op-ed.

I still disagree with his argument, for two reasons.
1. The Democrats are not as nearly committed to democracy as Scheiber assumes. Full explanation here.
2. You need to make the democracy-security argument to win the security-minded political center. Even if the Dems were as committed to democracy as Scheiber assumes, they do not believe in the democracy-security connection. Full explanation here.

Here is the policy question I would put to Mr. Scheiber. There are, at the very least, three countries in the world, Venezuela, Iran, and North Korea, where an aggressive strategy of democratization could overlap with America’s security interests. Will the national Democrats take a leading stand in favor of supporting democratization in these countries, or does the very fact that they have governments hostile to the US lead the Dems to believe we should be silent about the internal workings of these dictatorships?