Madeleine Albright, on Democracy

[Originally posted on May 8, 2006]
An impressive speech at Princeton (hat tip to Winds of Change) with a nice 14-point summary of what it means to realistically promote our ideal of democracy:
1. despite current setbacks, it is both right and smart for America to assist those who want our help in establishing and strengthening democratic institutions.
2. democracy must grow from within.
3. increase our support for building democracy around the world, including in Iraq.
4. democracy-building is a team enterprise.
5. building democracy is a bottom-up, not a top-down proposition.
6. assessing democratic gains, free elections–while essential–are not sufficient.
7. democracy must deliver… A strong economy–like a strong democracy–is built from the ground up.
8. recognize what democracy can and cannot do.
9. democracies should be inclusive.
10. in promoting democracy, we should adopt a global approach.
11. To support democracy we must also support those in civil society who have been working to promote democratic norms.
12. if we expect to lead the world toward democracy, we must ourselves be true to democratic values.
13. as America continues to support democracy, we should do so with some degree of introspection.
14. Our promotion of democracy should revolve around a simple and basic idea — that every individual counts and that
the fundamental dignity of every human being should be respected.
I have a some minor quibbles, but overall I think her points are just common sense. Alas, a very rare commodity these days…