Joi Ito has a long piece about the colossus the United States has become, in which he says: “I’m not (yet) asking to be allowed to participate in the US elections, but I do think it is important to understand just how important it is for the US to get along with its neighbors.”
Joi is Japanese, though he is on Howard Dean’s Internet policy advisory team. He says we need a global democracy. I think we’re getting one.
Despite a brewing howl from the far right, who invited this situation upon us and that will complain about “foreigners interfering with the U.S. electoral process,” the United States is about to feel the full impact of the meaning of the word democracy, and not just by inflicting its definition on other lands. Rather, the world is going to participate in our elections whether we like it or not through contributions made online to the Dean campaign, MoveOn.org and other political action committees that will deploy massive amounts of money in support of a greater debate, one that reaches beyond our borders. Check out Democracy aid ’04, a project to get every European to give a dollar to MoveOn.org.
I’d wager that for every $100 anti-Bush campaigns raise, foreigners might contribute all of $5 to Bush’s reelection campaign.
I cannot think of a better or more just path for this country. If we believe in democracy, bring it on, let’s talk with the world about our leadership.