voice for democracy

To spread democracy, lead by example | Letters To Editor | santafenewmexican.com – Santa Fe New Mexican

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The U.S. has a long history of seeking to install our unique form of representative democracy in countries around the world. After trillions of dollars spent and millions of lives lost, I think most would agree that our most recent reform efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan were unmitigated disasters. Other democratic models might work in countries with a strong tribal substrate, but ours does not.
There’s an old saying: “No bourgeoisie, no democracy.” Meaning, our system of democracy requires a middle class that values individualism. We require one man, one vote — not one clan, one vote. In the West, the transition from kinship to individualism commenced more than a thousand years ago and is still evolving. Why do we think an individualistic middle class can emerge overnight in any country we decide to invade?
Let other countries and cultures work out their own social and political challenges. We can provide aid, but we shouldn’t be encouraging specific outcomes other than seeking assurances about basic human rights as defined in the United Nations charter.
We should instead be laser focused on fixing some of the things in the U.S. that deviate from our country’s vision statement, the Declaration of Independence. Ultimately, the most effective way to spread democracy around the world is to lead by example.
John Ware
Santa Fe
Sad news
If the state had decided Santa Fe Pro Musica could only play a brief (speeded up?) version of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony on Sunday at the Lensic and that an “interpretive panel” about the symphony would be provided instead of an actual concert, music lovers would have been outraged. The agreement to remove the Multi-Cultural mural (“A mural in miniature,” Sept. 28) is such sad news.
That outstanding mural was created by a multiethnic group coming together to celebrate the shared heritage of this area. My wife and I moved here in 1987 because Santa Fe was a special place where that could happen. It’s too bad we do not have the imagination and courage to do it again. It would have addressed divisions in this town with an inspiring educational process and an uplifting image on Guadalupe Street.
Peter Chapin
Santa Fe
All the players
One of the most effective and hardworking groups for climate change advocacy and consumer protection in New Mexico, New Energy Economy, apparently has not been offered a seat at the table at the state’s climate summit Oct. 25-26.
I’m appalled at this clearly political exclusion. I appeal to House Speaker Brian Egolf and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to be inclusive. I urge people to call their representatives and call for New Energy Economy to be included in this landmark summit and have its informed voice.
Alaina Speraw
Santa Fe
Getting it done
When it comes to selecting a mayor, actions speak louder to me than campaign promises. After a local homeowners’ association contacted me to see if I could help it get the city and Public Service Company of New Mexico to make some long-overdue repairs to dangerous road conditions in their neighborhood caused by age and shoddy electric line easement work by a PNM contractor, I contacted Mayor Alan Webber and Public Works Director Regina Wheeler.
They promptly put together a group of dedicated city employees, including the city attorney; asked for and got PNM’s cooperation (no easy task); and rectified those problems. The new Southside Teen Center is another example of such actions.
I’ve only lived here for 45 years. But both my kids are natives. Webber has my vote to continue working to address the many other difficult challenges Santa Fe faces. I hope he has yours.
Bruce Throne
Santa Fe
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