@ Rex Caruthers:
Reminds me of "Ecotopia" and other speculative fiction. One of my favorite science fiction subgenres, as a matter of fact. But there's a huge difference between "unstable borders" and "blasting into pieces," and a lot depends on how you choose to define sovereignty and political coherence. It's true, in my view, that the U.S. took over for the European colonial empires, but the differences between the U.S. and British empires are as important as the similarities. Supkels' description of what we've gotten for our empire is completely one-sided, of course. She probably understands that herself, but enjoys writing something that feels provocative.

When and if the American national idea is supplanted by something else, the American world-historical role will end. New forms of sovereignty and political organization may emerge that don't fit easily into current categories.

George Jochnowitz wrote:

Voting is moral.

Voting is neither moral nor immoral. It's a mechanism that can be implemented in a wide range of ways, and that in many social-political contexts, including to a great extent our own, expresses and produces alienation and pseudo-representation alongside whatever indirect guarantees for "democratic rights."

Saying a country is the property of a family (monarchy) or belongs to whatever brute took it over (dictaorship) is not moral.

That's not "what monarchy says," and those aren't the only alternatives, just as democracy is a name for a wide range of alternatives.

Although the Civil War was a revolution of sorts, the United States has remained in existence since 1776. That’s pretty stable.

It's a moment in time, in a particular and peculiar geographic and historical context. We'd have to know how you define "democracy" and "in existence." By some standards, in the long historical view, democracy is both the most unstable and most de-stabilizing form of government - though, again, it all depends on how you define "democracy." On the other hand, many constitutional conservatives are fond of claiming that the U.S. isn't really a "democracy." They're especially fond of the claim when the polls are against them.

miguel cervantes wrote:

it’s a fairly unobjectionable statement, CK

I don't know what it's supposed to mean, and it has little to do with Churchill's aphorism, unless your definition of "inherently moral" is "overall relatively better given adequately non-specific and unstated assumptions."

George Jochnowitz wrote:

democracy is the only system of government that is inherently moral. They didn’t know that with its built-in elections, democracy is the least unstable of all political structures.

Pretty to think so, ahistorical and probably meaningless. Granted if you presume a democratic morality - however you define "democracy" and "morality" - then only democracy will qualify as moral, but that's a given. If the U.S. qualified as democratic during the historical periods you reference, then the implication is at a minimum that democracy is capable of immorality, again by your own definition. So what does it mean to say that democracy is "inherently moral"? That only the moral actions of a democratic government are the ones that were truly democratic? In that case, you'll end up defining moral as democratic and vice versa - and the definition again becomes tautological.

And surely we understand by now that elections guarantee very little in themselves.

@ Scott Miller:
Hmmm. Sorta spiritual jiu-jitsu, and would certainly be very ecumenical for a Muslim group to do a Hindu-inspired ceremony at the site of a Pentecostalist church. My initial reaction is that the Imam and staff should consider hiring you as a public outreach consultant, but I'm going to have to pray, and pray, and pray on it. After the game maybe.

@ miguel cervantes:
I think I'll burn that comment.

@ bob:
How does the built-in work when it comes time to consign Texts of Evil to the purifying flames?