Monday, July 13, 2009

Lessons from Accra

I was just going over the text of Obama's recent speech in Ghana, and thought I'd excerpt a few things and comment on them...

No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery. That is not democracy, that is tyranny, even if occasionally you sprinkle an election in there.

Note that his official policy is to ignore American brutality, authorized at the highest levels of the previous administration, and carried out by people who are still employed by the current government. You might also notice that the huge cash contributions of companies like Goldman Sachs are virtually indistinguishable from bribery.

In the 21st century, capable, reliable and transparent institutions are the key to success -- strong parliaments; honest police forces; independent judges ... an independent press; a vibrant private sector; a civil society. Those are the things that give life to democracy, because that is what matters in people's everyday lives.

An independent press is exactly what we do not have in America, at least as far as the mainstream media is concerned. In fact, our press prides itself on it close and cozy relationship with government.

Now, America will not seek to impose any system of government on any other nation.

Tell that to the Iraqis or Afghans.

Witness the extraordinary success of Africans in my country, America. They're doing very well.

Well, unless you count the fact that they we imprison them at nearly 10 times the rate of whites. Or that a black family's income is about half that of a similar white family's income on average.

I generally liked this speech. I just wish that we would take some of these lessons to heart ourselves.

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