Impeachment exposes democracy’s true nature

By Shi Tian Source:Global Times Published: 2019/12/18 21:08:40

The Capitol Hill is shrouded in fog in Washington D.C., the US, on Tuesday. US President Donald Trump on Tuesday sent a six-page letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, slamming the House Democrats impeachment effort as an "illegal, partisan attempted coup." Photo: Xinhua

The US House of Representatives will vote Wednesday to impeach President Trump. Regardless of the result, the case has already shown the world what democracy is like in the US.

On Tuesday, Trump wrote a six-page letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, angrily saying that "you are declaring open war on American Democracy" and "you view democracy as your enemy," and even calling the impeachment an "illegal, partisan attempted coup." In response, Pelosi derided the letter as "ridiculous" and "really sick."

This is what Washington claims as democracy - politicians endlessly trade barbs. Through verbal battles, can problems be eventually solved?

On the same day, protesters took to the streets in New York City, calling for removing Trump from office. And according to Reuters, the rally was only one of over 600 scheduled across the country.

As long as something dissatisfactory happens, demonstrations take place. By holding banners and shouting slogans, can these protesters be truly heard by policymakers?

To many Chinese, it seems that US-style democracy has already become a negative concept, which has brought ceaseless chaos and produced absurd farces. 

Democracy itself is a good thing, but the point is how to utilize it. Democracy is never the purpose, but an approach, of governing. A government's primary job should be meeting the needs of the vast majority of the people and driving the country forward, which requires national consensus. 

In other words, it is true that all people should be entitled to freedom of expression. But when it comes to policymaking, democracy alone is not enough - democratic centralism is needed. 

Regrettably, in the US, its democracy only offers citizens the opportunity to express their needs, but fails to build a consensus at the national level. As a result, various political parties and figures only look after their own interests, dividing and even fragmenting US society. 

Democracy has already been turned into a tool for party politics and a battlefield for different interest groups in the US. This is the tragedy of democracy. The decay of the US political system has ruined democracy.

With the strength the country accumulated for decades, the US might be able to withstand the chaos caused by such democracy. But as US-style democracy imposes an adverse effect on the rest of the world, can other countries and regions afford it? 

In the past months, Chinese people have increasingly seen the nature of Western democracy. It's time for the world to get a better understanding of it.

Posted in: VIEWPOINT

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