If one enters almost any retail business in northern California, one finds trained employees who ask with seemingly great sincerity "How are you?" The implication is given that these employees, and by extension, their companies, actually care about the welfare of the public. And the charade is carried out by the customers themselves, who routinely seem touched to have been asked about their welfare, and who invariably respond, "I’m fine, how are you?" The reality is that neither the retail employee nor the customer actually cares enough about the others’ wellbeing enough to actually offer assistance if it was actually needed; it is just a charade. If the customer were to actually reply "I am in deep need, will you help?” the resulting impasse would be palpable, as the questioning had no implication of actual desire to assist.
American democracy and support of democracy around the world is a charade, just like the retail encounters we see here in northern California. Americans pretend to value democracy, but when expression of democracy is suppressed in Ohio by conservatives challenging voters they don’t know but whose names were collected and compiled specifically to disenfranchise the poor and underclass, Americans go right along with the charade, praising democracy all along.
When state officials whose primary jobs are supposed to monitor fairness and impartiality of the electoral process, turn out to be paid partisan political operatives of one of the parties in the election, and who may even be campaign chairpersons of one of the major candidates, the American public goes right along with the charade, and the media ignores the blatant conflict of (democratic) interest.
The entire American system of democracy is a charade, based on governance of the masses by the wealthy elite. You don’t find poor people with good ideas involved in any significant numbers in governance, because money is the root of American democracy. If you had plenty of money and bad ideas, you have a great chance of getting elected, but if you have little money and great ideas, you are "out of the loop" and have no chance of even being nominated for high office, or low office in most cases.
If America was a democracy, meaning the intent of the largest number of voters in a Presidential election was the deciding factor in the election, then Al Gore would have become president in 2000, instead of George W. Bush, because Al Gore received the largest popular vote. But America is not a democracy, it is a republic, and the electoral system in America is and always has been designed to represent the interests of a narrow class of wealthy, land-owning, influential elites whose interests often are at odds with the interests of the public at large, and whose interests are increasingly counterproductive to the needs of both poor and middle class. Witness the intense current campaign by both parties to "reform" the American social security system by robbing it blind and using the assets to further enrich the wealthy.
But America’s disdain of democracy and the resultant charade has probably been never more painful to behold, hypocritical and dangerous as what we have seen in Iraq. We have an election administered by an occupying power (America) through a non-elected puppet government for the purpose of serving the interests of the foreign power. We have candidates whose identities and political views are kept secret from the voting public. An informed voting public is the absolute key to meaningful democracy, yet the Iraqi public was deliberately uninformed so as to prevent a truly meaningful vote. The Iraqi election was engineered to provide the appearance of meaningful democracy, while maintaining the charade. Candidates were vetted by the occupying force. Freedom of movement of the electorate was blocked by the occupying power in order to provide "security".
The Iraqi election paves the way for further serving the interests of the foreign occupying power while attempting to legitimize the occupation and usurpance of the national governance.
Amazingly, even this charade may fall apart in the foreseeable future, again because of the insistence on the interests of the occupying power. If the results of this fraudulent election bring about a new Iraq that reflects "premature" aspirations (from the point of view of the occupier) to remove the occupation force, the will of the new government will be suppressed. If the new government aspires to unite with regional Shia Muslims and form alliances with Iran’s Shia government, the will of the new Iraqi government will be repressed. If the Kurds’s desire for control over oil resources in Mosul gets "out of control", that democratic desire will be suppressed. Iraq’s new charade of democracy will be tolerated by the foreign occupiers only as long as it suits the interests of the occupier. If it gets out of control, it will be suppressed.
American-style "democracy" is not what it claims to be or appears to be. The American public willingly goes along with the charade because it seems to have created a good life for them up to now. But times are changing, the "pie" of wealth to be distributed is changing shape and shrinking, and American-style democracy will change along with it because it is all designed to benefit the few at the expense of the many, and with less to go around, the many will see their share of the pie reduced, whether they like it or not.
When the charade becomes intolerable to the masses, we will find out what Americans REALLY think about democracy.