Thewho were arrested and then transported out of Haiti by the U.S. Embassy last week have been making headlines, but this account distracts from the real story. Instead of focusing on these individuals, the U.S. public should be paying attention to the White House’s highly asymmetrical responses to demonstrations in Haiti and Venezuela.
The inference that protestors in Venezuela are democracy seekers while those in Haiti are democracy destroyers exposes the U.S.’ favorite political institution as a lie.
Fox News recently expressed support for the Venezuelans calling for the immediate removal of President Nicolas Maduro. Maduro was in May 2018, but his opponents claimed that electoral corruption .President Donald J. Trump when he
In contrast, despite similar accusations of Haiti and the international community – released a in light of the recent protests urging “respect” for the process that brought Jovenel Moise to the presidency:in Haiti, the U.S., as member of the Core Group – founded in 2004 to promote dialogue between
“Reiterating the fact that in a democracy change must come through the ballot box, and not through violence, the Core Group urges the executive and legislative branches of power to collaborate for the electoral law and the 2018-2019 budget law to be adopted and promulgated as soon as possible. It is only through these actions that the elections scheduled by the Constitution for October 2019, can be held in a free, fair and transparent manner…”
While the Core Group’s ostensible aim is advising the Caribbean country how best to implement democracy, its above statement betrays thethat the words “election” and “democracy” are interchangeable. It would be a grave error to simply assume that because there were elections in Haiti, the country now has a representative democracy.
According to afrom the , the 2016 elections that brought Moise to power were “organized by an interim government that lacked constitutional legitimacy.” Because so many Haitians have been historically excluded from voting, much of the populace has in elections altogether.
The United States is no stranger to such democratic disillusionment. The famous poet Langston Hughes once opined:
I swear to the Lord,
I still can’t see,
Why Democracy means,
Everybody but me.
The kinds of claims of voter suppression that have, and now in , have historically been characteristic of too.
Electoral Laws in United States
Electoral laws in the U.S. were, in fact, created to exclude. At the founding of the country, anyone not male and lacking property ownership was prevented from voting. Black men did not gain the right to vote until thein 1870 and women could not vote until .
Even with these developments, intimidation at the polls and laws in the south maintained . The , which attempted to once and for all mandate universal suffrage in the United States, was not passed until 1965. That black voter turn-out immediately ballooned all over the country after the law’s passage merely confirms that African Americans had been prevented from participating in the “democratic” process for the majority of U.S. history.
Even today, while many U.S. politicians proclaim the country to be the longest standing democracy in the world, its elections are plagued with irregularities and inequalities, such as fraud, gerrymandering, discriminatory ID laws, judicial interference, disqualification of large members of the populace as a result of mass incarceration, and, most recently, alleged foreign interference.
Thus, the United States may be a lot more like Haiti than it cares to admit.
Indeed, after President Trump reportedly referred to Haiti as one of the the U.S.-based pointed out the similarities between Haitian and U.S. politics in a it issued to remind the public that Trump’s presidency is “of questionable legitimacy.” Trump’s election resulted from “a loophole in the United States electoral system,” the statement reads, “and probable intervention by a foreign nation, a situation with which Haitians are familiar.”
The myriad ways the U.S. voting system neither reflects the will nor addresses the needs of the majority of the U.S. public has even led“America is not a democracy.” Perhaps the real problem though is not America but democracy itself.
Many people in the U.S. are experiencing lives under “democracy” in which they are threatened by precisely the same kinds of problems as so-called homelessness and addiction, and legendary gun violence.like Haiti. These include , by industrial toxins and human waste, fatal , forms of poverty that are making them vulnerable to
It is high time for the U.S. public to start seriously questioning whether democracy is in service of the people it represents or only of the people it puts in power. One of the greatest fictions of democracy is that people oppressed by their own government can place their faith in the electoral process to make their lives better.
Anyone in the United States who views our democracy as having produced freedom and equality for all is likely someone being protected by such a flawed political institution, and not someone whom it is excluding or even destroying.Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of The Globe Post.