November 9, 2006

Democratic Victory is a Victory for Democracy.

I am extremely happy with the results of the midterm elections. For one thing for the last three years I developed an intense aversion to Bush and the ideology that animated his administration. I do not refer here to the much discussed incompetency and recklessness which are abundantly clear. Rather my issue is with their philosophy, be it the notion of preventive warfare, religious insanity, or tax cuts to the rich. So I am pleased personally that there is a rebuke to the party, though it can not be read as a rebuke to the philosophy.

This brings me to a crucial issue. This election was about the Bush administration's conduct of Iraq war, not Iraq war per se. There is hardly any discussion in this country about the abstract principles behind Iraq war. The discussion is only about the appalling ineptitude of the people who are running it. That is the only reason for the widespread discontent. Except for a few rare exceptions politicians on both sides embraced the war (however reluctantly) and failed to raise relevant questions as is clear now.

However, I looked forward to the election because I was curious to find out if there is any meaning to the process of democracy. In these days of manufactured consent, it is becoming easier for a small band of dedicated vested interests to influence outcomes by veering the public consciousness away from substantive issues. I thought if Karl Rove and others could do that again this year, then that leaves a pretty grim picture of American democracy. That would have shown that there is no relation between what you do in the government and what happens in the elections. But fortunately my worst fears did not materialize. And the general sentiment could not have been more emphatic. That is why I am glad about the election results.

And that is why I think this is a victory for democracy, as much as it is for the Democrats.


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