Four of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council will see political changes at the top this year – including the United States. According to Stefan Kornelius of Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung, these decisions, out of the hands of most of the world’s people, could decide the type of civilization most of us end up living in: some form of democracy or as the Chinese call it, ‘benevolent autocracy.’

For the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Stefan Kornelius writes in part:

2011 was the year of revolutions, outraged citizens and protest movements that all invoked the core values of the West: democracy, transparency and responsibility. The year 2012 will show where these values really stand, because 2012 will be a special test year for democracy.

the American presidential election in early November – very proximate in time to the meeting of the Chinese People’s Congress – holds a special fascination. U.S. democracy is far from the democratic ideal. The radicalization of American politics alienates many voters and encourages extremists. The Republicans and their populist cadre are sailing dangerously close to the abyss. The majority of people in the country no longer believe in the transformative power of politics. Cynicism toward democracy is the greatest wound to the system. America’s radiant power as a shining model of democracy has been diminished.

Seldom before has the world anticipated four such high-profile leadership decisions in a single year. All four are permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and all will conduct foreign policy with an eye toward the popular mood. All four are tempted to underline their global importance with symbolic shows of strength, since incumbents expect to garner recognition, and citizens are expected to be more united.

Four nations, four decisions – and ultimately one realization: The politicians who sleep the soundest are those who know that a majority of the people are behind them. That is what engenders serenity and confidence. And how better to test such a majority than with free elections?

READ ON IN ENGLISH AND GERMAN AT WORLDMEETS.US, your most trusted translator and aggregator of foreign news and views about our nation.

WILLIAM KERN (Worldmeets.US)
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Copyright 2012 The Moderate Voice
  • zephyr

    ” Cynicism toward democracy is the greatest wound to the system. America’s radiant power as a shining model of democracy has been diminished.”

    Hard to get much done when morale sucks, and it’s hard to have good morale when the system sucks. Why does the system suck? Because some people WANT it to suck so they can say government doesn’t work. What they think they can replace it with would almost certainly be worse, but then we aren’t talking about rational people here.

  • Allen

    The Republican party has fielded the most laughable bunch of dim-wits ever assemble for an election. Republican politics, after two decades of media interference, has culminated into the Rush Limbaugh ideal. The power of broadcast media, manipulating, propagandizing, ranting, bitch’n moaning it’s way into the hearts of the American dufus, has disrupted the smooth flow of national politics and pounded it into the crap it is today. Never has the Republican party been more at the head of it’s own self hating demise, but the Democrats have not been totally unaffected either. So thank God for Barack Obama. A lessor man would have crumbled into a Clinton mush of conciliatory expedience years ago.