Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Open Discussion: Are U.S. Politics Becoming More Russian?

Today on NPR, several Russian (Russian) political analyists insisted that "the core" of Russian politics now centers around who will succeed Putin when his term expires in 2008.

This really gave me pause. Russia has basically ceased to be a democratic country under Putin's leadership. His recent steps to create a youth corp (loyal to him & his party) and establish dominance in the media, investigage and charge potential political rivals, etc., have all the hallmarks of classic Soviet dictatorship.

Yet, it also made me wonder if the U.S. is becoming more "Russian," i.e. dictatorial and a weakened democracy, given the hype over who will run for President in 2008. It seems that the 2008 election, still 3 years away, is becoming "the core" of U.S. politics as well. Media reports are all keen on reporting on which politician's actions are likely to help/hurt their 2008 prospects, i.e. Frist on Stem Cells, Pataki & Romney on the Abortion Pill, etc.

Should we be concerned about the increasing politization of "who" is the President? Granted, we still have separation of powers, politically and civilly, that Russia has lost. However...IMO, very disturbing.

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