The Fragility of American Democracy

A top neocon excuse for invading other countries is to spread American-style “democracy,” but – amid all that carnage – there has been a steady erosion of U.S. democratic values, observes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

By Paul R. Pillar

Efforts to export American-style liberal democracy to foreign lands have bumped up against the fact that the successful working of such democracy depends on habits and attitudes that are rarer than most Americans think and that take a long time to develop. That is a reality encountered in places such as Iraq. The relevant attitudes are not only hard to develop but also easy to lose. And that is a reality we must face at home in the United States.

Prime among the habits and attitudes that make representative democracy work is the willingness to respect even the most disappointing electoral result and to yield power peacefully and willingly to one’s political opponents if that is what the tally of votes calls for. Such willingness is a recognition that the nation as a whole and the democratic process itself are more important than for any one party, ideology, or set of policy preferences to prevail.

At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad, known as "shock and awe."

At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad, known as “shock and awe.”

Look around the world and one finds numerous examples of ostensible democracies where such willingness is lacking. It is all too common for losers not to accept the tally of votes. They don’t just yield power smoothly and move into the role of a loyal opposition.

The end result may be a negotiated power-sharing arrangement that works somewhat (Kenya, Afghanistan) or doesn’t work at all (Zimbabwe). Or the refusal to recognize the legitimacy of the other side makes the political system so dysfunctional that the military steps in (Bangladesh). Or the refusal is so intense that civil war breaks out and foreign military intervention is required (Cote d’Ivoire).

The acceptance of the outcome of elections by losers in the United States, both Democratic and Republican, has been a refreshing contrast to those foreign experiences. Look, for example, to John McCain’s graceful concession speech in 2008 for a model of how to accept a losing outcome.

Or look to the example in 2000 of Al Gore, who — having won the nationwide popular vote but having lost the presidency amid the hanging chad of Florida — probably had more reason than any candidate since Samuel Tilden in 1876 to believe that he was denied the office that should have been his.

Now, among the nearly daily output of outrageous comments that we have come to expect from the mouth of Donald Trump, is one that some commentators such as Dana Milbank of the Washington Post have rightly singled out as even more disturbing than most. This is Trump’s suggestion that if he loses in November it will be because the election was “rigged.” Such a comment raises the specter of an election aftermath that will begin to look less like the United States and more like Kenya or Bangladesh.

If such an aftermath ensues, it will be a matter of sore losing rather than of any rigging. It is not as if the separate courts that have been ruling in several states against voter suppression laws as discriminatory are part of a vast left-wing conspiracy. The sort of voter impersonation fraud that such laws ostensibly are intended to prevent has been so rare as to be trivial.

The actual deficiencies and unfairness in U.S. elections are of a much different sort: the effective denial of legitimate voters’ right to vote because of inadequate polling places in some neighborhoods, or burdensome and partisan-motivated registration and identification requirements, or (as in Florida) stupidly designed ballots that leave voters’ intentions unclear.

The Trump Phenomenon

As with several other pathological aspects of the Donald Trump phenomenon, this possibility of denying the legitimacy of an election victory by the other side is rooted in patterns of thought and rhetoric that go well beyond Trump himself. The roots are seen in other ways in the party of which Trump is now the presidential nominee.

The run-down PIX Theatre sign reads "Vote Trump" on Main Street in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. July 15, 2016. (Photo by Tony Webster Flickr)

The run-down PIX Theatre sign reads “Vote Trump” on Main Street in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. July 15, 2016. (Photo by Tony Webster Flickr)

The roots become visible when one remembers that the fundamental issue is not something specific like alleged voter fraud but rather a larger set of priorities in which, just as in the aforementioned Third World countries, so much importance is placed on one leader, party, policy, or ideology prevailing over another that the prevailing is treated as more important than the interests and values of the nation as a whole.

We saw this when Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell declared near the beginning of Barack Obama’s presidency that his number one priority was to deny Obama a second term. Bringing down the administration of the opposing party, in other words, was given higher priority than anything involving the American people as a whole and the health and strength of their republic — whether this involves the state of the U.S. economy, the protection of U.S. interests abroad, or anything else.

Obama in particular has seemed to have been the target of such perverted priorities (some would say racial prejudice is involved — it is impossible to conclude with certainty whether it is), leading to such diversions as the “birther” nonsense in which Trump has directly indulged as well as opposition-for-opposition’s-sake which has had serious consequences for public policy, both foreign and domestic.

But the pathological attitudes will not go away when Barack Obama leaves office. The uglier manifestations are seen today in the shouts at Trump rallies of “kill her” and “Trump that bitch.”

We can come full circle back to the connection between domestic politics and foreign policy by referring to what Walter Russell Mead describes as the Jeffersonian tradition of foreign policy thinking. Jeffersonians believe, in Mead’s words, that “the specific cultural, social, and political heritage of the United States is a precious treasure to be conserved, defended, and passed on to future generations.” They recognize that this heritage is not only precious but “rare.”

In foreign policy, the Jeffersonian perspective stresses that whatever the United States does overseas ought not to endanger that heritage. This has led to a Jeffersonian emphasis on restraint in undertaking any foreign operations or commitments, an emphasis that is as pertinent today as it ever was.

But the underlying Jeffersonian realization concerns how fragile and easily endangered is the rare, precious, liberal democracy that Americans enjoy. It can be endangered by what misguided Americans do at home as well as abroad.

Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is author most recently of Why America Misunderstands the World. (This article first appeared as a blog post at The National Interest’s Web site. Reprinted with author’s permission.)

35 comments for “The Fragility of American Democracy

  1. R. Allen
    August 13, 2016 at 12:06

    What they really mean is making the world safe for multinational corporate capitalism our extra territorial adventures have nothing to do with democratization.

  2. Skip Edwards
    August 12, 2016 at 15:16

    “Or look to the example in 2000 of Al Gore, who — having won the nationwide popular vote but having lost the presidency amid the hanging chad of Florida — probably had more reason than any candidate since Samuel Tilden in 1876 to believe that he was denied the office that should have been his.”

    I would like to suggest that it was not Al Gore who lost the office that was his; it was the American voting majority that lost the President
    we elected to represent us (US). That stolen election will go down in US history as the beginning of the end of the United States of America, if not the world. Left to stand and accepted by the American people, it set a final precedent that extends to today as we saw Hillary Clinton follow the game plan that cheaters do indeed win. We have seen assassinations of leaders in our country and abroad accepted as business as usual. Military false flags allowing our government to wage illegal wars as the biggest bully on the block. Rich corporations commanded by real plutocrats (people) who have taken control of our government, our natural resources and are allowed to destroy our environment with reckless abandonment. A two tiered non-justice system to flourish, as demonstrated by Black Lives Matter and our treasury literally being transferred to rich financial corporations, unchallenged. It would take a library of books to document all of this and indeed they are there but most citizens sit mesmerized in front of their TVs by the folly that calls itself news, the MSM, and soak up the bs presented. We, as citizens, have gone from our perceived status of “Land of the Free” to “land of the meek.” Who to blame? All of us are to blame! Who else to blame! What to do? History marches on over the bodies of all of us as it has always done.

    • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
      August 16, 2016 at 15:26

      A 9/11 truther? Stop spewing garbage.

  3. theo
    August 11, 2016 at 13:12

    There is no democracy in the US, only a selective aristocracy. Americans can’t voice their opinions on matters that directly affect them, they may only vote for someone who will take the important decisions for them. And these people are bought through donations by the rich people.

    Its over, this system may only crash before actual democracy has the chance to birth.

  4. Silly Me
    August 11, 2016 at 09:55

    I have been comparing elections to the streetwalker who can choose her pimp for 16 years by now.

    No matter what, she will get screwed.

    In this case, however, those who can read and think and have a longer attention span than the average American (currently eight seconds, down from 15 in 1991), is likely to prefer screwed by Trump than by Hillary (Trump is likely to divert money to security firms in his chain of connections, so money will not be saved…).

  5. Brad Benson
    August 10, 2016 at 17:10

    We are in no position to export “democracy” to anyone. There is no such thing–least of all here in the US.

    • Brad Owen
      August 11, 2016 at 05:43

      I have days where I think you’re right, there’s no such thing as democracy; that it can’t exist on a scale any larger than a village. The ruling class just indulges us with a choice between pre-approved managers-of-THEIR-policy.

  6. Lalalelu
    August 10, 2016 at 16:48

    JILL STEIN 2016 !!!

    • Silly Me
      August 11, 2016 at 09:53

      She doesn’t even have a program…

      Just how long do you think she or anyone else who wants to change things in favor of the people would last?

    • Brad Owen
      August 11, 2016 at 11:46

      What do you mean she doesn’t have a program? I typed in Jill Stein 2016, went to her site and in less than ten seconds I counted up the TWELVE points of her 12-point plan.

      As for your question…yeah, I worry about that too, a great deal, but she’s wanting to go in the direction that Dennis Kucinich, Bernie Sanders, and a majority of the people want to go…”will we get there?” is another matter entirely, the Gods will have to intervene in this one, to “get ‘er done”, and we moderns are no longer in the habit of consulting with Them, sorry to say.

  7. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    August 10, 2016 at 14:55

    American Democracy is simply a JOKE……it is the circus that keeps the crowd engaged and thinking that they have a say……Pick one or the other, THE ELITE will be happy either way…………….Just think back for as long as you want and try to see if there is a REAL significant difference between Republicans and Democrats!! Bill Clinton was the one who went all the way into Wall Street and brought Goldman Sachs into the WHITE HOUSE………..removed Glass-Stegall Act and the rest is history………..Hillary would not even release the transcripts of her behind closed doors talks with GOLDMAN SACHS………..Keep fooling yourselves, my American Friends, and talk about YOUR DEMOCRACY……..

    • Peter Loeb
      August 11, 2016 at 07:11

      LEARNING TO LOSE

      “Prime among the habits and attitudes that make representative democracy work is
      the willingness to respect even the most disappointing electoral result and to yield
      power peacefully and willingly to one’s political opponents if that is what the tally of
      votes calls for.” —Paul Pillar, above

      My Dad was in politics for about all of his career. He managed campaigns for many
      (Adlai Stevenson, Hubert Humphrey, Averell Harriman etc.). None of them won.
      Mom used to mutter, “Politicians never starve!”

      I hate losing of course. But the sight of so many especially young supporters
      whining, nearly in tears etc. when it’s over has struck me as almost
      curious in these years.

      I remember supporting a candidate for Senate in this state. I went to
      what had been planned as a “victory party” and everyone was
      nearly dysfunctional, unable to cope with the disaster.
      I am passionate too and find it hard to deal with loss. I focus
      more on policy issues.

      I am a diehard fan of our local professional baseball team and
      hate the NY Yankees with a fervor. But when it’s all over,
      I just sigh, “Maybe they had the better team”. Or we
      had the worse one. And more to the point, where to go now?

      I do not blame Donald Trump in particular for conditioning
      all of us to this style. Its an integral part of our society eg
      in athletics. Trump has an exaggerated TV-style way
      of expressing it. But his major adversary, Hillary Clinton
      is not far behind.”Only I can be President! Me and
      no one else!!” Like selling a product which in fact
      it is.

      Somebody will win and then we shall all have to come
      to terms with how we deal with the result. Analysis of
      the facts is where to begin. Who rules? Who really
      controls the power? Not just who won. Such information
      is available on reliable electronic newsletters such as…
      well..Consortiumnews.

      —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  8. Exiled off mainstreet
    August 10, 2016 at 13:43

    Considering the record documented by the wikileaks of Democratic National Committee documents that reveal that her nomination was obtained by gaming the system and by fraud, it is no surprise that if she gets in, the opposition will suspect fraud, particularly since the entire commercial media is acting like a “ministry of truth” on her behalf. Even the latest flap concerning a legalistic statement by Trump that the rights of gun owners would be at risk and therefore some amorphous resistance might be in order highlights a statement the harpy made in 2008, between when her defeat by Obama had occurred and the convention which was to nominate her that a miracle a la “Robert Kennedy” might occur. Since she is a war criminal on Libya as documented by Mr. Parry and others, I think that the US has already moved beyond the rule of law and toward fascism by even having her as the nominee of a major party and a favourite. Considering how her cabal has operated up to now, any “victory” she can obtain will be suspect, and a miasma of fascism will further descend on what was once described as “the land of the free”.

    • Joe Tedesky
      August 10, 2016 at 15:19

      The Donald’s seventeen Republian presidential opponents are probably watching in jealous amazement to how the Hillary people are trashing the real estate billionaire. What Trump had fun with during the primaries, is now his handicap. All that is being talked about on the cable news networks is to if Donald Trump made an assassination threat upon Hillary’s life. Apparently Trump didn’t read the fine print where it is said, how it’s now her turn. Oh by the way, what Wasserman Shutz aka Hillary Clinton did to Bernie Sanders during the Democrate’s Primary is anything but democratic…someone please tell this to Paul Pillar.

  9. David Smith
    August 10, 2016 at 13:02

    As Zachary Smith notes, “Mr. Pillar has to know better than this….”. To refute Mr. Pillar’s thesis, it is only neccesary to provide an example of a rigged election in the past, and the 1948 Texas Senate race between Lyndon Johnson and Coke Stevenson is a well documented example, albeit with paper ballots, making for a ponderous and obvious rigging process. A more recent example, that brings up the perils of electronic voting, is the 2004 President race, where Ohio delegated it’s counting to a private sector business in the State of Georgia, and there are suspicions of electronic sleight-of-hand leading to Kerry losing the State of Ohio and it’s critical Electoral College votes.

    • John
      August 11, 2016 at 01:00

      Don’t forget the Prosser versus Kloppenburg WI Supreme Court race, where Prosser was on record being in a precinct late into the night, where that same precinct turned in bags of ballots that showed signs of tampering. The next day, the vote count from that county flipped the election, and they reported something like a 98.5% voter turnout for a non-presidential election.

      This happened shortly after new voting machines were demoed for the public, and were hacked at that demo while the guy talking about how unhackable they were was looking, yet failed to notice the hack as it was happening in front of him.

      Or, 2004 in Ohio where the official count had one place with 10x more votes for Bush than there were registered voters in that area.

      Or the statistically impossible differences between exit polling and vote counts in this year’s primaries that only happened on the Democratic side and only in precincts that used machines known to be easily hackable.

      Unless we have hand counted paper ballots, where the counting is observed by all, or fully open source voting machines running open source software, elections can be hacked, and if they can be hacked, then they are being hacked.

    • David Smith
      August 11, 2016 at 11:09

      John, thank you for your excellent comment, which also jogged my memory. I am an American living in Canada, and many years ago worked a polling station for a Canadian Federal election. There were no voting machines, I gave each voter a paper ballot from a numbered stack, the voter marked the ballot and placed it in the ballot box, all done at my table. All of this observed by “scrutineers”, each party with a candidate in the election had the right to have a ” scrutineer” at the polling station. After closing, when we counted ballots, the “scrutineers” observed and made a parallel count. I was impressed that this was a nearly perfect system to prevent election fraud. An aside, checking the spelling of “scrutineer” in my 1948 dictionary there is the note “Now Rare”. IMO, The United States needs to revive paper ballots and scrutineers.

  10. Robert Billyard
    August 10, 2016 at 12:21

    Sad to say but American democracy is long gone. It is a brutal irony that Hillary Clinton should accuse Vladimir Putin of being the new Hitler, when she is one step away from assuming that role herself.

    Everyone should read Queen of Chaos, The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton, by Diana Johnstone. It is a horror story you will never forget.

  11. Curious
    August 10, 2016 at 12:11

    Perhaps I am a cynic, but I have a difficult time defining American Values and Democracy, along with some nebulous ‘left’ and ‘right’

    I don’t think the purple thumb in Iraq stood for much, outside of a means for a Bush propaganda campaign. It’s as obtuse as the replies from people when asked how they would define ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ except that a liberal is someone who doesn’t agree with the conservative position de jure.

    If bombing cities back to the stone age while killing masses of people means ‘values’, I suppose the USA is ahead of the curve compared to the rest of the world. Besides, very often the US will not honor an election around the world if it didn’t fit their goals, so it’s all hogwash really.

    Death and destruction are not values. they are the result of a very sick culture wanting its own way around the world. We need new words to help out with the tired expression of politicians. ‘Values’ and ‘humanitarian bombing interventions’ need to be scrubbed from the lexicon.

    a rhetorical question: Can killing and death ever be equated with values? even moral values?

  12. Zachary Smith
    August 10, 2016 at 12:01

    If such an aftermath ensues, it will be a matter of sore losing rather than of any rigging.

    Mr. Pillary has to know better than this, so why is is he writing such nonsense?

    No-verification touch-screen voting machines exist. Hackers of these devices exist. There are piles of evidence US elections have already been hacked. If it ever happens in a volatile climate like 2016, there is no telling what will happen.

    hXXp://bradblog.com/?p=11792

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/08/2016-elections-russia-hack-how-to-hack-an-election-in-seven-minutes-214144

    Beginning in the late ’90s, Appel and his colleague, Ed Felten, a pioneer in computer engineering now serving in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, marshaled their Princeton students together at the Center for Information Technology Policy (where Felten is still director). There, they relentlessly hacked one voting machine after another, transforming the center into a kind of Hall of Fame for tech mediocrity: reprogramming one popular machine to play Pac-Man; infecting popular models with self-duplicating malware; discovering keys to voting machine locks that could be ordered on eBay. Eventually, the work of the professors and Ph.D. students grew into a singular conviction: It was only a matter of time, they feared, before a national election—an irresistible target—would invite an attempt at a coordinated cyberattack.

    • Brad Owen
      August 10, 2016 at 15:57

      In the “flavor” of this essay, I detect a suggestion that a Coup is in the works, after this election cycle is over, and the ensuing riots bring the curtain down on any pretense of Democracy.

    • Bart Gruzalski
      August 11, 2016 at 13:58

      Good points, Zachary. What was the author thinking of? Such an important theme with such an apparently under-informed or unfocused author.

      What about the extremely revealing post-Vietnam war anthology A CRISIS IN DEMOCRACY, put out by the trilaterial commision:
      https://www.amazon.com/Crisis-Democracy-Governability-Democracies-Trilateral/dp/B01FIYX14Y/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1470938026&sr=8-2-fkmr0&keywords=A+CRISIS+IN+DEMOCRACY++Trilateral+Commission

      The book at least exists but no one seems to be making it easy to read. I once had a hard-cover copy in my hands. Later, only xeroxes.

      The chapter on American democracy, the main chapter, is quite revealing of what we miscall the neocon perspective. For example, the author, Samuel Huntington, basically says that we had TOO MUCH democracy in the 1960s AND that blacks had too much voice in the too much democratic situation we were in.

      If I were writing about democracy, I’d highlight the three great periods of democracy we had in my lifetime–the 60s that ended the Vietnam War; the Occupy movement that was thoroughly shut down by a nationwide police action; and the current populist uprising of citizens supporting Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Notice how all the media, even writers here at Consortium news, tries to shut down Trump.

  13. Joe Tedesky
    August 10, 2016 at 11:46

    I honestly believe that what makes the loser of an American election yield so easily too the winner, is that both candidates have basically the same donors. It is a common practice among the donor class to hedge their donations on both political opponents, so that they may ensure their chances to have an open door to whom ever should win the election. We little people are the only ones who believe in rallying behind just one candidate, and thus we are extremely happy if our candidate wins, and literally bummed out if our candidate should lose.

    What should be the talk of the nation, is how DWS & Company sabotaged the Sanders run for the Democrate Presidential nominee. Instead, by some flimsy connection of the dots, we Americans are being led to believe that Vladimir Putin is screwing with our democratic process. Since Donald Trump has a fondness for this Russian leader, well then the dots are connected, and the Donald is a Russian presidential plant. This is all being done in a country whereas if you question the official conclusions of the JFK assassination, or the 911 Commissions report, then you are deemed a conspiracy nut and you must wear the infamous tinfoil hat.

    The real threat to America’s democratic values isn’t found necessarily in our election process, but our downfall is to be found in the many trade agreements that are being pursued. Sovereignty is being replaced by corporatocracy, and this will no doubt be the new norm.

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/08/10/how-long-can-economic-reality-be-ignored-paul-craig-roberts/

    • Exiled off mainstreet
      August 10, 2016 at 13:45

      Gore started the rot when he conceded despite evidence he had lost only by fraud, intimidation and a fixed supreme court in 2000.

    • Realist
      August 10, 2016 at 15:38

      I was never a fan of Richard M. Nixon’s, but it is often claimed that he gets precedence for the type of move you just cited. Nixon personally believed that JFK and LBJ stole the election from him through rampant voter fraud in Illinois and Texas, but he supposedly chose not to challenge the outcome in the courts “for the good of the country.”

      Now, Samuel Tilden quite clearly was robbed. He had won a large majority of the popular vote but was robbed by the partisan congress of his day which named a commission to decide the allocation of electoral votes from three contested states. By a single vote of the commission, Rutherford B. Hayes was granted all the electoral votes from the three states and he was awarded the presidency by but a single electoral vote. Tilden never raised a finger to oppose this clear act of theft. Hayes shamelessly served his single term.

  14. Tom Welsh
    August 10, 2016 at 10:51

    “The acceptance of the outcome of elections by losers in the United States, both Democratic and Republican, has been a refreshing contrast to those foreign experiences”.

    Yes, that’s because in the United States it doesn’t really matter which party gets elected; the policies will remain pretty much the same. That’s why people have been referring to Obama’s period of office as George W Bush’s thrid and fourth terms.

    • Brad Owen
      August 10, 2016 at 12:11

      Obama’s terms can also be called George H. W. Bush’s sixth and seventh terms, after Reagan 1 (after he was “lamed”), Reagan 2 (old age took care of the rest), Poppy himself (when he said NWO out loud in front of God ‘n’ everybody), W 1 (Cheney/H W), W 2 (Cheney/H W), and by Obama’s time, the Neo-con/Neo-lib/Neo-feudal/neo-fascist NWO was firmly fixed in place, both major parties thoroughly assimilated into it (even the Clintons are now signed onboard for the ride, after deciding the “vast, right-wing conspiracy” can’t be stopped). I’m still voting Jill, even if it’s just an act of Ahab plunging the harpoon into the Great “Right” Whale as it drags us all down, into the Dark Depths.
      P.S.
      Let’s not forget there was (an APPOINTED) “Vice President” Rockefeller in ’74, serving with Ford (of JFK assassination/white washing/investigating committee fame). The Rock was probably busy planting the bugs to report back and forth with Wall Street’s/City of London’s “NWO headquarters” (after coordinating their next steps at a Bilderberger/Tavistock/Davos/Mt. Pelerin confab). See, it’s all out in the open for those who wish to see it; Carroll Quigley told them it’s OK…oh yeah, he knew Slick Willy too, that ole Cecil Rhodes Scholar.

    • Ash
      August 10, 2016 at 21:40

      “Even the Clintons”? Like they were the last liberal holdouts against an unstoppable right wing tide or something? Laughter.

    • Brad Owen
      August 11, 2016 at 05:22

      In the early 90’s, the Hill mentioned “…a vast right-wing conspiracy” is in operation. I’m sure “Cecil Rhodes scholar” Bill quietly informed her “uh, dear, we’re one of them, just pretending to be on the other side.”

    • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
      August 16, 2016 at 15:22

      What a nonsensical conspiracy theory.

    • Peter Loeb
      August 10, 2016 at 16:33

      LEARNING TO LOSE

      In fact, I would prefer not to put the blame on Donald Trump even though
      there is plenty that is warranted.

      The refusal to accept loss is deeply ingrained in our society.

      My Dad was involved in politics for almost all of his career. Of course,
      I would always be enthusiastic about whomever he was working
      for. Almost none of them ever won. Adlai Stevenson, Averell
      Harriman, Hubert Humphery and so forth. My Mom used to say
      “Politicians that lose won’t starve!”

      Later I supported a candidate for Senate in this state. He lost.
      I went to what had been planned as the proverbial “victory”party.
      Everyone was in tears as though the world had come to an end.
      I couldn’t understand why.

      Someone will have to win and someone else will lose.

      As afan of the Boston Red Sox I HATE the New York Yankees.
      From my gut. But when the do win I sometimes just have to
      face reality. We didn’t [play well. Or whatever.

      Our society conditions us to believe winning is everything.
      On policy issues it may well be. However, someone
      will win. (My prediction for the US election!)(It is usually
      younger partisans who seem to be most deeply affected.

      —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  15. Tom Welsh
    August 10, 2016 at 10:48

    Whooops! Sorry – I forgot to add the English translation.

    Putin: There’s less and less democracy in the US.
    Lukashenko: Of course. They keep exporting it.

    • Joe Wallace
      August 10, 2016 at 13:39

      Tom Welsh:

      Great cartoon! Thanks for sharing it.

    • Bart Gruzalski
      August 11, 2016 at 12:49

      Vonderbar! A WONDERFUL cartoon. Six stars out of five stars! Do you have a version with English on the cartoon? (I’m thinking of putting it in something I’m writing.)

  16. Tom Welsh
    August 10, 2016 at 10:47

    Whenever I see an article like this one, I think of the following rather nice cartoon.

    https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Q8kIR_ALrB4/Vr0Vdlj33II/AAAAAAAACDc/riQmMdLDMLM/s640/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-02-11%2Bat%2B17.06.55.png

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