Immorality of Transforming the Planetary Prestige of American Democracy into Fetish

We teach our children not to lie, not to cheat, not to fake, and not to prompt when in primary school your friend is asked by the teacher an academic question. But during the second presidential debate in 2004 Bush was wired (many during the debate noticed that there was something strange under his jacket, and bifurcated wires on Bush’s back and shoulders were seen in endless pictures appeared in the press one or two days later). It looked that Bush was prompted by, probably, Karl Rove.

Then we, Americans, accepted wires of mental resuscitation on Bush Junior – political life is only a small part of our interests. We are not like Egyptians or Tunisians – we have a lot to do: to make our money, to out-money one another, to shop, to entertain ourselves with sport-events, Hollywood films, pop-music and shooting range. Most of us didn’t study political history to feel that to be couched during the presidential debate is unseen of violation of the very spirit of political culture inseparable from the democratic way to negotiate political issues. For many Bush’s suspiciously puckered jacket was rather entertaining image, as later his sayings and jokes. Masses are masses with their tendency to confuse/mess entertainment and reality, jokes and serious matters and political opinionated chat with responsible political thinking.

But why didn’t the media pundits make a big deal about the wired tongue of the presidential candidate? And why nobody officially investigated the incident? Well, it’s understandable. To be a journalist in a totalitarian system is much easier than it is in a democracy that is a system opened to change and innovation. If your basic orientation is on the stability of career-making and income the necessity to serve the truth seems a kind of idealistic obsession. As Russians during Soviet period were saying – “It’s absurd to spit against the wind”. Why to risk losing your job because of some weird wire-looking unevenness under the president’s jacket? You have to be a freak of truth to endanger your family’s prosperity by thinking about what is controversial. Here it is nothing new – we saw all of this already in Soviet Union where professionals and journalists thought the same as most American upper middle class educated minds do today.

But why John Kerry pretended he didn’t during the debate notice the magic with Bush’s cloth? At first, to show in front of the cameras and the whole world that he had notice this wire-like swellings on his opponent could be a sign of an extremely bad taste. It could look like an unforgivable vulgarity. People could say that Kerry for the sake of getting political advantage started to probe into Bush’s dirty laundry – no one gentleman is expected to do anything like this. Kerry is not this kind of rude person – he has got manners, he is an American senator.

But this, of course, is not the main reason why Kerry didn’t notice the number with wires. May be, he was afraid to infuriate the conservative hairy fist? But he is not a person who is easily intimidated. The basic reason, it seems, is the international prestige of the American democracy. US will not look solid if its president during the debates is helped with answers as a schoolboy. US will lose in the world’s opinion. It is better not to notice, to pretend, to silence your own intelligence. It was the same reasoning that made many Communist officials arrested by Stalin in 1937 to “confess” in absurdity that they were the British or Japanese or whoever else’s spies – in order to preserve the image of impeccability of the idea of Communism in the world. They sacrificed the truth to their patriotic belief. Kerry even didn’t recall his impressions about what’s happened during the debate after the pictures were widely published (he didn’t want to dirty the image of his country in the world). He wanted American democracy look great even by the price of suppressing the truth! He had to put aside the knowledge that real greatness is exactly in renouncing the artificial (based on lie) greatness.

So, the moment which could change the world’s history was lost. If during the debate, when Kerry had noticed that the Bush’s brains being wired (that answers were prompted to him), he could have approached him in the podium, touch him on his back and ask in front of the world: What’s with you, George, is everything alright, why your back is so strange, what you have under your jacket?, then history could take another direction. Iraq and Afghanistan wars wouldn’t have happened, and so nor would the pauperization of the American population and degradation of mass education because of lack of funds.

Of course, it’s not the only time Democratic presidential candidate has surrendered to the circumstances. The previous time was at the end of the 2000 elections when Supreme Court stopped counting Florida votes, and Al Gore shut up as a schoolchild before the principal. He, like Kerry, is another gentleman with a good taste and love for the respectable image of his country in the world.

By allowing the incidents like the one of having Bush’s tongue and brains wired – happened without consequences, we, Americans, not only lost the democratic politics but the future democratic generations of Americans who are learning that truth is not important in comparison with fight for personal and group advantage. Only moral and behavioral chaos can be the result.