There is a deplorable tendency in this country to use words like ?freedom? and ?democracy? in a purely talismanic manner, without attaching any actual meaning to them ? only thus could the coups in Guatemala in 1954 or in Haiti in 2004 be hailed as advances for democracy. But the current administration, the Republican Party, and George W. Bush take this to heretofore undreamed of extremes, as could be seen clearly at the Republican National Convention this year. For Bush, apparently, democracy means any kind of election at all ? a definition that would make Saddam Hussein perfectly happy (he won an ?election? with an unprecedented 100% of the vote in October 2002).