Democracy and Political Views
In many respects, political convictions are defined by features of our personality. Those who react to changes worse become conservatives, and those who consider themselves as the liberals are more flexible and susceptible to something new. My political views are more liberal, and therefore, I am an adherent of democratic political system. The concept “democracy” comes from the Greek word “demos”, which means “people”. In the democratic countries, people possess the sovereign power over the legislators and the government. In spite of the fact that there are various nuances in the democratic states in this regard, certain principles and practical approaches distinguish democratic board from other forms of the government.
Democracy is the form of government, in which all citizens participate in government and assume social responsibility directly or through the freely elected representatives. Democracy represents a set of the principles and practical measures protecting freedom of a person. Democracy is an institutionalization of freedom (Tilly, 2007). Democracy is based on the principles of majority rule in combination with the rights of each personality and minorities. All states with the democratic form of government that respect the will of the majority jealously protect basic rights of the certain people and groups that make minority.
The democratic states preserve members of society from absolute power of the central governments and implement the process of decentralization of the government, delegating a part of powers to appropriate bodies on regional and local level. Thus, states with the democratic form of government realize that local authorities have to be to the greatest possible degree available to the people and respond to their needs and expectations. The democratic states understand that one of their main functions is protection of such fundamental human rights as a freedom of speech, the right to practice religions, the right to equal protection from the law and the right to creation of the organizations and full-scale participation in political, economic and cultural life of society. The states with the democratic form of government regularly hold free and fair elections, the right of participation in which is granted to all citizens. Elections in democratic society represent original rivalries for a gain of support of the people (Tilly, 2007). Democracy demands from the government bodies implementation of laws and provides all citizens with identical protection and equal rights by legal system. The democratic states differ in a variety of aspects that include political, public and cultural life of each country.
The states with the democratic form of government are based on the fundamental principles, but not on uniform practice. Living in the democratic country, citizens not only have the rights, but also assume the obligation of participation in political system, which, in turn, protects the rights and freedoms of these citizens (Tilly, 2007). Democratic societies are committed to such principles as manifestation of tolerance, adjustment of cooperation and achievement of a compromise. The democratic states recognize that reaching consensus demands a compromise, and also that it can be not always reached. Thus, using the words of Mahatma Gandhi, I can state that intolerance in itself is one of the forms of violence and an obstacle on a way of growth of true democratic spirit.
By the example of my family I can note that when we vote, we are usually moved by emotions. The logic comes into effect only to prove this impulse. We look for the sensible reason for an explanation of the sympathies, but initially, we submit to them. Obviously, it is more favorable for politics to play upon heartstrings of voters than to puzzle over the program of economic and political reforms. Just read programs of the majority of political parties: most often, there is nothing that deserves our attention. The main thing is to be pleasant to public. George Bush Jr., for example, became the U.S. President not because he struck Americans with fresh ideas, but because he evoked the emotions connected with the image of America, its traditions: family values, respect for army and church. Certainly, such state of affairs is a serious defect of democracy (Tilly, 2007).
In my opinion, today, the main problem consists in that fact that many people consider that the democracy is based on the Christian principles of equality and freedom. However, unfortunately, many postulates of both religion and democracy are treated differently (Mann, 2005). The situation with religion is clearer: more than a half of adult population of our country state that they are religious people. At the same time, the vast majority of them does not go to church and infrequently takes part in ceremonies. Also, they do not differ from non-believers in their values and behavior. Finally, they manage to combine their belief in Christ with belief in a malefic, black magic, karma and the feng shui. Only approximately ten percent of population considers that religion is something bigger than just a word. Such situation in religion is similar to a situation in democracy. However, the sincere belief in certain principles could also lead to disagreements. For example, Bolsheviks destroyed people for the sake of the supreme cultural wealth – justice, equality and the common work; inquisition – for belief; the American army in Iraq – for democracy. There are no such idealistic principles, in the name of which no bloody crimes were committed.
One of the two largest parties in the USA is the Democratic Party. At the same time, it is also considered as one of the oldest political parties in the world history. Founders of Democratic Party of the USA were several prominent politicians, including, Thomas Jefferson (the 3rd U.S. President), Andrew Jackson (the 7th U.S. President) and Martin van Buren (the 8th U.S. President). Now, democrats of the USA act as supporters of economic reforms, increases in social expenses and taxes (Anderson, 2006). They support the largest multinational corporations (Intel, Microsoft, Apple, etc.) and any high-tech industries of economy, urge to refuse economic protectionism and conduct pollution abatement. The Democratic Party of the USA supports the rights of sexual and racial minorities; it is engaged in adaptation of migrants, supports strategy of planning of a family and regulation of birth rate. The most part of democrats opposes the death penalty and is in favor of permission of abortions. Besides, democrats urge to limit free sale of firearms in the United States of America (Selfa, 2008).
All in all, in spite of the fact that the principles of the Democratic Party correspond to my ideology, from time to time, I see manifestation of fanaticism in actions of its leaders: for example, the recent statement of Barack Obama who said that America is the exclusive nation is one of such manifestations. Americans became in many respects the first, but it does not grant us the right to be “police officers of the world” and to impose our principles on other countries. Due to the fact that in the world, there are different ideologies, traditions and rules, by which the whole nations live, we have to allow them to develop according to their own scenario. I am the patriot of my country, I trust in our future, but I believe that we have to develop democracy first of all in our own country, but not impose it on those countries that are not ready to live by these principles.