David Brooks openly calls for “constant garden-tending”, or in other words, an ongoing state of aggressively militaristic global policing by the United States:
As Robert Kagan shows in a brilliant essay in The New Republic, for the past 70 years, American policy makers have understood that underreach can lead to catastrophe, too. Presidents assertively tended the international garden so that small problems didn’t turn into big ones, even when core national interests were not at stake. In the 1990s, for example, President George H.W. Bush and President Clinton took military action roughly every 17 months to restrain dictators, spread democracy and preserve international norms.
This sort of forward-leaning interventionist garden-tending will be even more necessary in an age of assertive autocracies. If the U.S. restricts intervention to “core interests,” as Obama suggests, if it neglects constant garden-tending, the thugs will grab and grab and eventually there will be horrendous conflagrations. America’s assertive responses will not need to be military; they rarely will be. But they’ll need to be simple, strong acts of deterrence to preserve order.
This is insane and this is wrong. The reason that “the number of countries that moved in an autocratic direction has outnumbered those that moved in a democratic one” has been because the supposedly democratic countries have demonstrated to all and sundry that they are not democratic at all. The United States, Italy, Greece, Ukraine, Ireland, France, the UK, and above all, the European Union, have proven, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that their “democracy” is a sham.
Switzerland is the only genuinely democratic country in Europe. It is the only country where the will of the people can actually, at times, override the will of the government elite. The government there has voted twice to join the EU. The people voted it down twice and that is why Switzerland is not in the EU. Contrast that with, for example, the UK, where the people have never voted to join the EU and the government has repeatedly lied to them and denied them the opportunity to decide for themselves if they wish to belong to it. Or Ireland, where they voted down the Lisbon Treaty, then were forced to vote again until the will of the Irish elite had been accomplished. Or the USA, where one of the largest invasions in human history – 50 million strong – was aided and abetted by the three branches of government.
The concept of representative democracy has failed abysmally. It is no wonder that people are now trying other options. It’s hard to believe that Brooks is crazy enough to demand the US engage in national sovereignty-violating military action twice every three years. This is the madness of the neocons reaching terminal velocity.