Old-fashioned values may count when conservatives appear on the stump, but once conservatives are in office the only old-fashioned situation they care to revive is the regimen of low wages and lax regulations. Faith in democracy flares up in moments of triumph, such as the overthrow of unpopular regimes in Cairo or Kiev, only to sputter out once again. In 2004 Mr Yanukovych was ousted from office by vast street protests, only to be re-elected to the presidency (with the help of huge amounts of Russian money) in 2010, after the opposition politicians who replaced him turned out to be just as hopeless. Tocqueville argued that local democracy frequently represented democracy at its best: Town-meetings are to liberty what primary schools are to science; they bring it within the peoples reach, they teach men how to use and enjoy. It also allowed conservatives to present their views as the philosophy of a region that Americans - even sophisticated urban ones - traditionally venerate as the repository of national virtue, a place of plain speaking and straight shooting. By 1941 there were only 11 democracies left, and Franklin Roosevelt worried that it might not be possible to shield the great flame of democracy from the blackout of barbarism.
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In the wealthy Kansas City suburbs of Johnson County, "creative" white-collar types develop business strategies over lattes. Robust constitutions not only promote long-term stability, reducing the likelihood that disgruntled minorities will take against the regime. Main Streets here are vacant, almost as a rule; their grandiose stone facades are crumbling and covered up with plywood - rotting plywood, usually, itself simply hung and abandoned fifteen years ago or whenever it was that Wal-Mart came to town. The concerted effort of free nations to promote democracy is a prelude to our enemies defeat, he argued in his second inaugural address. Regime-sanctioned thugs try to fight back but lose their nerve in the face of popular intransigence and global news coverage. Mr Morsi treated democracy as a winner-takes-all system, packing the state with Brothers, granting himself almost unlimited powers and creating an upper house with a permanent Islamic majority. At the same time, as Alexis de Tocqueville pointed out in the 19th century, democracies always look weaker than they really are: george ws trow essay they are all confusion on the surface but have lots of hidden strengths.
They're tired of everything being wonderful on Wall Street and terrible on Main Street." Let me repeat that: They're voting Republican in order to get even with Wall Street. But ask them about the remedies their ancestors proposed - unions, antitrust laws, public ownership - and you might as well be referring to the days when knighthood was in flower. The idea of public service was jettisoned too, as Aquila prepared for the great competitive utopia to come by acquiring utilities around the country and overseas, and by setting up a freewheeling energy-trading operation through which it sought to replicate the spectacular success then being. Bush - actually, physically lived in Blue states that went for Gore, the rules of this idiotic game allowed them to present the latte libel in the elevated language of the confession. On the sad phenomenon of High Plains poverty, see the study by Patricia Funk and Jon Bailey, " Trampled Dreams: The Neglected Economy of the Rural Great Plains " (Walthill, Nebr.: Center for Rural Affairs, 2000).
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