Democracy is just another form of government to those who do not experience the benefits of that democracy. The sole strength of democracy is its potential to provide all the Peoples of a nation representation, so the interests of the weak can be balanced with the strong. All societies eventually fail when they neglect the critical interests of significant populations and powerful individuals, thus democracies have the potential to create socioeconomic stability over time. Unfortunately, the inability of represented groups to accept compromise, i.e. forgo some of their interests to fulfill the interests of others, fosters dysfunction and conflict.
In Thailand, a failure of the wealthy elites, who are backed by the military that just seized power, created a situation where the impoverished of Thailand had no choice but to rise up against their leaders in order to address their basic needs to survive. Having elected a government that sought to partially address these interests, which is not to say anything about the quality of the leadership or its policies, the elites were being asked to sacrifice some of their privilege. That said, all power seekers legitimize, solidify, and consolidate every form of power. Although the Thai military is using corruption and national security to legitimize its takeover, which there may be some basis for this argument, the coup was orchestrated to return Thailand to the status quo.
Unfortunately, the US is an ally of Thailand that provides the Asian nation with military aid. Where America needs to stand for democracy and the rights of the disenfranchised, the US is also trying to deal with an increasingly aggressive China, so we cannot afford to simply scorn the power elites of Thailand or other nations. Clearly, cutting military aid to Thailand sent the right message; however, America cannot disengage from Thailand. As such, it would behoove us to offer increased diplomatic aid to help the Thai People reconcile this socioeconomically-driven political crisis. Thailand needs to develop solutions that can help balance the interests of the poor and rich alike, before the nation erupts into conflict driven by mass civil unrest.
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