Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Frightening View of Washington DC

I'm spending the week studying arms control, proliferation, and weapons of mass destruction. Yet this is the most disturbing thing I've read all week (from Der Spiegel):
...Washington is the most vital capital city in the West today...
That's "vital" as in dynamic, not a description of its importance.

Later, there is a much more reassuring observation on "unity" and partisanship:

Democracy thrives on differences of opinion, which translate into differences between parties. Promising to put an end to this ongoing dispute makes about as much sense as a supermarket manager announcing plans to combine the meat and produce departments -- and justifying his decision by saying that the management wants to overcome the decades-long polarization between steak-lovers and vegetarians.

Citizens would be well-advised to demand disagreement and harsh words. The parties must remain partisan if voters are to have a real choice. In the country ruled by consensus that the candidates are now touting, voters would end up feeling like the shoppers in the imaginary supermarket with its combined meat-and-produce department: Vegetarians and meat-eaters would be equally unhappy.

1 comment:

CEJ said...

Most Europeans simply know little about the US. This guy is no exception. It doesn't fit with the usual Spiegel article.