The return of American Democracy As a Model to Emulate

A lot of disenchanment and criticism globally against the US has
accumulated over the last few years.

But I have a feeling that the 2008 primaries, perhaps even more than
the November elections will, are re-shaping the world’s thoughts about
the US and the meaning and value of democracy.

Super-Tuesday’s energy and intensity seem to have crossed US borders.
I googled news about the delegate count and before settling on CNN’s
great tracking charts, I noticed newspapers from South Africa to India
were passionately discussing the process.

It’s been (relatively speaking) such a clean, orderly and elegant
grassroots contest where every precinct and locality and person had a
role to play, that a lot of people across the world must be at least
implicitly recognizing the greatness of the model.

It also helps that so far the war of ideas, openly debated with a
freedom we take for granted but others take notice of, seems to be
being won by those advocating bipartisan and international healing as
opposed to demonization of the other – not just in the rise from
behind of Obama and McCain, but also in the adopted tones of empathy
and partnership of other candidates.

Some have adopted this "uniting America" message from Obama more genuinely than others.  Clinton, and maybe Huckabee, carried it off.  Romney seemed out-of-his-element with what his advisors prescribed for the day, not the least of all because the only enthusiastic applause he got in his speech was when he went back to core Republican conservatives with the cry against illegal immigration.

When history is written, the turning point where America started
coming back will not be January 20 2009 but February 5 2008 – and that
is very good because a popular process reigns above even the most
powerful office.

Sent from my iPhone – pardon typos

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