Friday, July 29, 2005

Unitarian-Universalism and Universal Democracy

A Unitarian-Universalist (note correction in first comment below) blogger finds Sen McCain and Sen Liebermans' Universal Democracy Act and wonders just how much Universalism we should ask for in the world. Perhaps we UUs only mean it for the hereafter many of us so skeptical about? (That would be truly cynical.)

This is the first I've heard of the bill, but it sounds like planning for the future. That's tough to do with the best of plans. Considering all the flak the administrations taken on planning, I like the provisions of what I read here.
The ADVANCE Democracy bill enshrines a fundamental lesson of September 11: where repression rules, the lack of political participation and economic opportunity engenders despair and even extremism in the hearts of some. Promoting democracy fulfills America's moral mandate and bolsters our national security. As the recent events in Georgia, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Palestinian Territories illustrate so dramatically, the desire of people to live free is universal.

The ADVANCE Democracy bill would strengthen America's ability to promote democracy in a number of ways, including by:

* Establishing a new office of Democracy Movements and Transitions at the State Department and separate Regional Democracy Hubs at several embassies abroad;

*Creating a Democracy Promotion Advisory Board to provide outside expertise to the U.S. Government;

*Authorizing $250 million in increased funding for democracy promotion over two years;

*Requiring an annual report on democracy to include action plans to promote democracy in nondemocratic countries; and

*Providing training and incentives for State Department personnel in the promotion of democracy

1 comment:

smijer said...

Speaking as the UU member of the smijer & Buck blogging duo, I do agree with you that some form of universal Democracy is a very important goal to be worked toward.

I share Buck's apparent concerns that such an act could be used as the "ends" that justify the "means" of future aggressive warfare.

I'm not sure whether he read the article closely and observed that most of the ostensible means discussed were explicitly peaceful ones - and I'm not sure that his question was necessarily meant as a challenge. But, sometimes I'm not sure I know how to take him at all.

For the record, Buck has a certain amount of interest in UUism, but he doesn't practice as a UU. I don't think he has even visited one of our churches yet - he lives a fair distance from the one closest to him.