Rallying around democracy

Sarah Jurkiewicz examines democracy in light of recent events around the nation.

Sarah Jurkiewicz, Writer

Most Americans generally embrace the ideals written into the U.S. Constitution — that democracy is a precious and highly cherished principle.

The evolution of democracy was challenged this past week when Glenn Beck, a Fox News commentator and the Rev. Al Sharpton, a civil rights activist, held separate rallies in the nation’s capital. Each leader was concerned with maintaining their idea of what makes America grand, which is undoubtedly inspired by their sincere and earnest love of U.S. ideals.

In the same week, President Obama made headlines because of his announcement to withdraw troops from the Middle East. His administration has also been scrambling to maintain diplomatic relations with the Sudanese before another bloody civil war begins, in the hopes of maintaining a democratic government in Sudan to salvage the already torn nation. The Obama administration is building up American influence in the region, in order to inspire peace among the Sudanese.

The rallies of Beck and Sharpton are closely tied to these events. Although both of these men have conflicting political opinions and different ideologies, they share the same goal—restoring America’s democracy to its greatest potential. Beck demands that in order for democracy to be maintained, American citizens need to return to following God and the fundamentals of Christianity. Once justice has been enlivened then can democracy flourish.

Sharpton urges Americans to maintain the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in order to reclaim the dream of equality in our nation. Equality, demands Sharpton, is how democracy can prevail.

However, can democracy be exported? Can the idea of democracy in our country be planted into another? The Iraq war was an experiment into this concept and it divided our country. President Obama’s campaign promise was to end the war and send the troops home. The Iraq war was meant to dethrone a tyrant and stabilize a free democratic nation without Muslim oppression. Coming from a nationally Iranian family, my relatives desired the U.S. to influence Iranian government in that way.

Democracy in America is unlike any other government in the world. We have seen it in action in the rallies and in the formation of freedom in the Middle East. We cannot expect other countries to perfectly mimic our system. Rather, our success, and the power we gain from this success can and should be used to influence countries around the world.

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