As I drive down the street, all through town I see plastered across billboards an image of an old dilapidated building, presumably the victim of Russian attacks, with the words: “Democracy is under attack!” Now, as a proud monarchist, this didn’t upset me in the least, since I’ve long been of the opinion that democracy can sit on a tack. But that’s a topic for another day. The obvious meaning implied by the billboard is that Ukraine represents democracy, freedom, and equality, while Russia represents some old-fashioned autocratic conservative ideal that seeks to oppress and enslave.
A simple bit of thoughtful research will show that this can’t possibly be the reality; there must be another factor at stake in this war that the Left will happily disguise as “democracy.”
Take a look at the constitutions of Russia and Ukraine. Both countries are organized as semi-presidential republics, meaning they have a president as head of state and a prime minister as head of government. For the sake of comparison, France—remember liberty, equality, and fraternity?—is also organized as a semi-presidential republic; for my fellow Canadians, this form of government is kind of like our own but with a more powerful elected president in the place of Her Majesty the Queen. In fact, constitutionally, Russia appears more democratic than Ukraine, given that Russia is a federation with a bicameral parliament, which provides greater allowance for both subsidiarity and federal checks and balances than Ukraine’s unitary state with a unicameral parliament.
Yet, we cannot base democracy on whether a country is founded as a “republic”; after all, China identifies as a republic too. Instead, we might utilize something called the “Democracy Index,” put together by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which rates the democracy of a given country on a scale of 0–10, requiring a score of 6.01 to be identified as even a “flawed democracy.” In the 2021 report, Russia was rated as “authoritarian” with a score of 3.24, while Ukraine was rated as a “hybrid regime” with a score of 5.57; neither was ranked as a democracy. For comparison, the United States scored 7.85 as a “flawed democracy” and Canada 8.87 as a “full democracy.”
We could also look to the “Corruption Perceptions Index,” published by Transparency International, which ranks the “cleanness” of countries on a scale of 0–100. A score of 50 is required to be considered “less corrupt.” Again, in 2021, Russia was given a score of 29 and Ukraine 32, neither of them even close to “less corrupt.” For comparison, Canada scored 74 and the United States 67.
What does all this tell us? Given that left-leaning groups like Transparency International and The Economist have consistently failed to give Ukraine a passing grade in democracy for the last ten years, it is at least inconsistent to now claim democracy is under attack by Russia’s attack on Ukraine. What we could logically say is that a corrupt constitutional republic is under attack by a slightly more corrupt constitutional republic.
One might easily venture to say that if Russia were to succeed in wresting territory from Ukraine, there would be little noticeable difference in the democracy of that territory. I think it is safe to say that, in the case of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, democracy is not under attack; rather, there must be something other than democracy at stake that the Left does not want to state openly, lest the mask be removed too soon.
Indeed, further scoping reveals that this claimed attack on democracy is not new with the attack on Ukraine. A variety of news articles and blogs since the summer of 2020 speak of American democracy being under attack by the Republican “minority party” and their violent far-right operatives, though a few articles appearing since the 2020 election maintain the attack is by the vote-thieving Democrats and their leftist, rioting thugs. A CNN survey released on September 15, 2021, showed that a majority (56%) of Americans believe their democracy is under attack, though far more Republican supporters (75%) believe this to be the case than Democrat (46%).
Nevertheless, already in September 2018, Hillary Clinton was warning Canadians that “democracy is under attack everywhere,” as evidenced by Trump’s ability to win the 2016 election. I think it fair to say that Mrs. Clinton understands an attack on democracy differently than CNN’s Republican-supporting survey respondents. Analogously, I think it fair to say that these two parties have differing views on whether Russia is attacking democracy.
What I would suggest is taking place in the case of the pervasive billboards is that age-old rhetorical device by which we convince our audience that they, too, are in fact affected by the matter at hand. The general North American populace values “democracy” (however they may define it). So, by declaring “democracy” to be under attack, the message sent to the general populace is “your values are under attack,” and, so also, “you are under attack.” The average North American is then implicated in the war and moved to actively resist his Russian aggressors by donating to the advertised Ukraine support fund.
Mrs. Clinton and the leftist media are sending the same message: democracy, which means you, is under attack by the Right. We can bicker until the cows come home whether Putin or the Republican party are “on the right,” but the reality is that they represent a worldview that is to the right of the left, and that is a danger to the leftist ideology. What is really at stake here is not democracy but leftist-American democracy, together with its pervasive anarcho-feminist ideology of license, which has been imposed on other nations especially through the imperialist efforts of President Obama.
Recall Obama’s condemnation of Russia’s democratically supported 2013 “anti-gay law,” together with a variety of other leftist and, oh, pro-democracy groups, including the European Commission for Democracy through Law. The latter’s response clearly conveys the Left’s view of democracy, which, it states, is “characterized by pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness, as well as the fair and proper treatment of minorities” (paragraph 48). On this account, the “promotion of other sexual identities except heterosexual” (48) must be permitted and the freedom “to advocate for positive ideas in relation to homosexuality” (56) maintained. Recall, also, the Left’s aggressive opposition to Trump’s Supreme Court nominees hinging on the danger of overturning Roe v. Wade. Democracy, for the Left, requires one to have the right to murder one’s own child.
I suppose the reality, then, is that democracy is under attack after all, at least if we take democracy to mean what the Left would have it mean, which is exactly what its name denotes: “the rule of the mob.” As Aristotle notes, such democracy is the corrupted form of the republic, and I might further note that socialism is the corrupted form taken to its extreme. The democracy of the Left is one representing not liberty but license; not order but chaos. It is the rule of the disordered, of the vicious, of those with no sense of reality. Ultimately, it is no rule at all; it is a society without a head. It is a society built on principles of Godless self-destruction; a revolt against patriarchy which can do nothing else than decay.