There is a Kenyan proverb that when the elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.
Or the acacia trees. You can tell on the Maasai Mara when the elephants have been through an area. The bushes are uprooted, tree branches broken, dirt churned, all the inevitable consequences of elephants just being elephants as they pass through.
They don’t even have to fight to tear up the landscape.
You could say there is nothing personal. The elephants are just doing what they do. But the acacia trees, like the grass, would have another opinion if they could speak.
Around the world, democracy is a frail flower these days. While the theory about government of the people, by the people, for the people was crystal clear when it was declaimed 150 years ago, how it has been translated into practice since has varied widely.
Sometimes I wonder if the term “democracy” is worth using at all – certainly the old definitions seem to apply less every day.
The word itself has become a smokescreen for the politics of power, whether it comes out of the muzzle of a gun or (more deniably) out of the mouth of a bank account. The elephants tear up the landscape with impunity and it is the grass that suffers.