Is This Democracy?

May the Fourth Be With You!

Let me begin for those that cannot tear themselves from the game control long enough to grasp the idea of democracy.

The definition…..a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.

Nowhere is the word “democracy” mentioned in the Declaration of Independence or the U.S. Constitution. How could that be? Our government is a democracy!

The Founders actually feared democratic rule. James Madison expressed this attitude in Federalist #10: “…instability, injustice, and confusion …have in truth been the mortal disease under which popular governments everywhere perished…” In the late 18th-century, rule by the people was thought to lead to disorder and disruption. Yet a democratically-based government was seen as superior to the monarchies of Europe.

If this is true then why do we keep calling this country a democracy?

The GOP has gone down the rabbit hole of fascism and the Dems are so central that it is a party of spineless cowards.

What we have in this country is more like ‘democratic centralism’…..and yes a scary term….but how many know what it is?

democratic centralism,” a term made famous by Vladimir Ulyinov Lenin. As the leader of the Russian Revolution in 1917, he established a communist government that allowed no private property to exist. All members of society were theoretically equal. However, Lenin considered a small “vanguard of the revolution” necessary to guide the people and establish order. So a small group of leaders make decisions in the name of the people, based on their perceptions of what the people want and need.

A small group of leaders…..sound familiar?

We have a central government that is filled with elected reps and party hacks that decide what is best for the people….sadly none listen to the people after the election….then it becomes party politics and democracy be damn.

Democratic countries cherish individual freedom and generally believe that laws should not be repressive; a little order can be sacrificed in the name of liberty.

Repressive?

Is not a minority forcing their personal beliefs on the population a bit repressive?

I have asked in a past post…..https://gulfsouthfreepress.wordpress.com/2021/04/05/what-happened-to-the-social-contract/

So is this a democracy?

Some will say no it is not….we are a republic….if so then stop using the term ‘democracy’ or ‘democratic’.

PERIOD!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

A Summit For Democracy

President Biden has said that there is a need for a “Summit for Democracy”…….this is confusing to me because there are so many definitions for the term ‘democracy” that it would be interesting to see just who is invited or who attends…..

This would be a waste of time and energy IMO and the American Conservative agrees….

Joe Biden’s proposal to host a “summit for democracy” in his first year in office reflects some of the important flaws in the former vice president’s foreign policy worldview. This proposal takes for granted that the U.S. and other democracies are in some sense all on the same side in opposition to a vaguely-defined authoritarianism. It presupposes that the U.S. is the undisputed leader of the democratic side. It assumes that other nations of the world are craving the American “leadership” that has been lacking for the last four years. It substitutes a focus on regime type for a serious reappraisal of U.S. interests in the world. Finally, it focuses on authoritarian bogeymen in other states when we can see that the greatest threats to a healthy democracy are to be found at home.

Earlier this year, Biden described the summit as an effort “to renew the spirit and shared purpose of the nations of the free world.” This might not have seemed out of place 25 years ago when the U.S. was still held in high regard and talk of the “free world” didn’t sound like an outdated propaganda slogan. That’s no longer the case today. This is one area where Biden’s preference for throwback foreign policy ideas is particularly ill-suited to the world we live in.

The U.S. Shouldn’t Bother with a ‘Summit for Democracy’

Democracy is under attack from so many directions and all seem to use democracy as an excuse for the attacks…..

I say this because of the Trump years….and now that he is not the president the fight will get nastier…..and social media will lead the way for the attacks to continue…..

Most legacy media outlets sought to persuade voters to choose Joe Biden for president because “democracy is on the ballot” and once Trump was out of office, things would return to normal, we could all go back to “brunch.” However, this analysis overlooks the crucial realities of how we got here and, as Lau Tzu might suggest, where we have been and are heading. The “return to normal” rhetoric distracts from the reality of American democracy: it is in such an emaciated state that a more adept and sophisticated version of Trump could easily come to power. It was our infatuation with what passes for “normal” that brought about this historical moment. The Democracy Index rates the U.S. as a “flawed democracy,” which means that the elections are free and fair, basic civil liberties are respected, but there are underlying issues (e.g. the erosion of the free press and suppression of opposition political parties and viewpoints). Prior to Trump, scholars noted that the U.S. was an oligarchy, not a democratic republic. However, rudimentary corporate news media narratives concerning the so-called “coup” at the U.S. Capital January 6th leave out crucial realities that can easily lead audiences to glean that Donald Trump and his followers single handedly undermined the American democratic experiment. To be clear, Trump as a person and as a symbol has been responsible for the proliferation of dangerous and disgusting attitudes and behaviors in the U.S. However, we have been heading here for decades. To alter where we are heading, we need to confront certain realities that media narratives distract attention from on a ritual basis.

Ripe for Fascism: A Post-Coup d’Trump Autopsy of American Democracy

Will the people come to their senses and see the problems all this division is causing for the country?

Or will this situation continue until the democracy is destroyed and something sinister will emerge?

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

All The Evidence We Need

I have been saying for years that the GOP does not like democracy very much for their actions since about 1980 have been to curb any and all of the pillars of democracy…..like voter suppression and the Constitution as a whole….yes they use the document as a political prop but they do NOT think it should be followed.

Recently a GOPer from Utah, Mike Lee, has shown the country the real agenda of the GOP…….

A top Republican senator has said that “democracy isn’t the objective” of America’s political system, sparking widespread outrage at a time when his party has been accused by Democrats of plotting voter suppression and questioning a peaceful transition of power in November’s election.

The Utah senator Mike Lee made the inflammatory declaration in an early morning tweet following Wednesday’s vice-presidential debate.

“Democracy isn’t the objective; liberty, peace, and prospefity are. We want the human condition to flourish. Rank democracy can thwart that,” he wrote, misspelling prosperity.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/08/republican-us-senator-mike-lee-democracy

Lee is articulating a view that has long been in vogue on the American right but which Republican politicians were generally hesitant to express openly. The premise is that liberty is a higher value than democracy, and they define liberty to mean a right to property that precludes redistribution. That is to say, the far right does not merely view progressive taxation, regulation and the welfare state as impediments to growth, but as fundamentally oppressive. A political system that truly secured freedom would not allow the majority to gang up on the minority and redistribute their income for themselves.

Sounds a bit authoritarian in content to me.

Lee was a critic of Trump in 2016 even prompting him to withdraw at one point….but since then he has donned his knee pads and graveled at the lap of Trump.

Lee needs to look at the agenda…..

From the perspective of the right, Trump’s assault on democracy has advanced the cause of freedom and liberty, on net. His regressive tax cuts and deregulation have returned property to their rightful owners. Republicans believe that the political system must retain, and ideally expand, its counter-majoritarian features: restrictive ballot-access rules that restrict the franchise to the most “worthy” citizens, gerrymandered maps that allow the white rural minority to exercise control, a Senate that disproportionately represents white and Republican voters, and a Supreme Court that believes the Republican economic program is written into the Constitution.

Lee employs an age old GOP talking point to curb democratic progress….

Lee, who is among a swath of Republicans who recently tested positive for coronavirus, wrote: ‘The word “democracy” appears nowhere in the Constitution, perhaps because our form of government is not a democracy. It’s a constitutional republic. To me it matters. It should matter to anyone who worries about the excessive accumulation of power in the hands of the few.’

He added: “Government is the official use of coercive force–nothing more and nothing less. The Constitution protects us by limiting the use of government force.”

Anyone that still supports the GOP after this is not a patriot or a true American.

Peace Out!

I read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Never Has So Few…

… Done so much to destroy America.

The few I refer to are those minions of Trump that run the government….these toads are sucking the life out of our democracy….

Trump still compares himself to Lincoln from time to time, albeit usually to whine about how he thinks he’s been treated so much more badly than the 16th president—you know, the one who endured a great civil war and was assassinated. But in the past, he also has tried to manufacture heroic comparisons of himself with a true wartime leader, British prime minister Winston Churchill.

Such foolish aspirations were encouraged by former UK PM Theresa May, who even engineered a 2018 dinner honoring Trump at Blenheim Palace, Churchill’s ancestral home. And according to a 2017 New York Times article, “[E]very self-selected snapshot [of Trump]— down to the squinty-eyed scowl attached to his Twitter account—features a tough-guy sourpuss. ‘Like Churchill,’ is what Mr. Trump would tell staffers when asked what look he was going for.”

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/05/19/never-have-so-few-done-so-much-destroy-america

The pandemic brings into light the non-voters of this nation….those that have lost all confidence in our democracy…..and 2020 could be the final nail in that coffin…..

If voter turnout is indicative of a democracy’s health, then the US is clearly ailing. Only slightly more than half of all eligible voters cast their ballots in presidential elections, which is far below the turnout seen in peer countries. While systematic voter suppression certainly plays a role in this anemic performance, millions of Americans don’t vote because they have lost faith in the system or believe that elections are rigged. 

That is the disturbing finding of “The 100 Million Project: The Untold Story of American Non-Voters,” a recent John S. and James L. Knight Foundation report on research conducted to determine why so few Americans engage in the political process. Other reasons identified in the report include a real or perceived lack of knowledge about the candidates and issues, disappointment in choices, and a belief that their votes do not matter.

America Abstains: Millions of Voters Have Lost Faith in US Democracy

The election is just a mere 6 months away….the decision will be monumental….not for the changes to come but the mere fact of who the two posers will be.

The older I get the more disappointed I am in the voters and their idiotic choices……

Please!

Learn Stuff!

“lego ergo scribo”

“Illiberal” Democracy On The Horizon

I know there is lots of speculation about the direction of this country now and in the future.

First of all…”Illiberal”…against liberal principles(that is the political philosophy not some political party)…..

Personally I feel that this nation is approaching this tipping point for it has already begun….

Consider the following:

  • A coordinated mobilization of armed militias threatens elected officials in Democratic states, with open White House backing;
  • The most powerful member of the national legislature interferes in judicial appointments to gain his party permanent dominance over this branch of government;
  • A top official who has admitted his guilt in a major breach of national security is released from prosecution by the nation’s chief judicial officer.

The biggest threat to our republic is the loss of an independent judiciary…….

For good reason, many people will snort at the notion that the U.S. has ever lived up to the core premises of liberal democracy: the rule of law applied equally to all citizens; majority rule through free and fair elections. As the author of “Why the United States is Not a True Democracy, Parts 1 and 2,” I can hardly disagree! Majorities do not rule in this country. Basic citizenship rights, whether the right to vote or to be secure in one’s own person, are routinely violated by local and state governments.

But it could get much worse if Trump wins again. In a second Trump administration, with Republicans controlling the Senate and the federal court system, it is more than possible that the U.S. will move sharply towards illiberal democracy.

An “Illiberal Democracy” if Trump Wins Again

And there is a way to fight this possible coming storm….but not as long as the people are too goddamn lazy to look beyond their news organization….those the echo their biases and hatreds.

Look beyond the “divide and conquer” mentality of ignorance.

It is hard to see the signal amid the noise in the best of times, but the everyday chatter is especially difficult to comprehend in times of war, disaster, and infectious outbreak. Imagine a game of broken telephone with billions of speed-of-light internet connections – chances are the message will look nothing like the original at the other end, touched up by systemic misfirings and our own bias. But can we separate truth from pixie dust, fact from fiction? Can any of us agree if the sky is or is not falling?

To Divide and Conquer: Science, News, and Hate in the Age of Instant Media

But not to worry there are some Americans that want this so they can discriminate…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

2020 New Hampshire Results

Now we can say that the voting in 2020 has actually begun in the first in the country, New Hampshire…..

Results in the vote are as follows……let me start with the results for Trump…….

There were no surprises in the Republican primary in New Hampshire Tuesday as President Trump cruised to victory by a wide margin over challenger Bill Weld. With almost 90% of precincts in, Trump had 85.7% of the vote, Weld had 9.1%, and assorted write-in candidates had 2,5%, the Union-Leader. That gives Trump all 20 delegates and the biggest margin of victory for an incumbent president in the state’s GOP primary since Ronald Reagan, who scored 86.43% in 1984. Trump’s total vote count in the New Hampshire primary is higher than that of any previous incumbent president, reports the AP.

Not much surprise here with the exception that about 12% of Repubs voted against a GOP president…..that should be worth a bit of look….

Now on to the battle for the Dem nomination…..

Bernie Sanders has won the New Hampshire primary, reports the AP, Politico, CNN, and the Washington Post. The final tally isn’t yet in, but it appears Pete Buttigieg will finish in a close second and Amy Klobuchar a strong third. Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden trailed that trio by quite a bit. “This victory here is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump,” Sanders told his supporters. Meanwhile, tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet have dropped from the race. With 93% of results in, CNN has the percentages as:

  • Sanders, 26%
  • Buttigieg, 24.4%
  • Klobuchar, 19.8%
  • Warren, 9.3%
  • Biden, 8.4%.
  • Sanders (who also won New Hampshire in 2016) and Buttigieg had been 1-2 in the final polls. The bigger question was who would finish third, and Klobuchar’s campaign should get a boost out of the night’s results. “We have beaten the odds every step of the way,” she told supporters, reports the Wall Street Journal.
  • Warren and Biden, however, will have serious assessments to make, given that neither will hit the 15% threshold necessary to earn national delegates. Still, both told their supporters Tuesday night that they are very much still in the race. “I am here to get big things done,” said Warren, reports CNN. “We’re just getting started,” said Biden, per NPR.
  • Addressing his own jubilant supporters, Buttigieg declared, “Now our campaign moves on to Nevada and South Carolina and across the country, and we will welcome new allies to our movement at every step,” per the AP.

Two down…..now on to Nevada….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Hong Kong Drama

For months now the people in Hong Kong have been protesting…..some say for democracy others say it is just for the helluva it and then there are those in the government that say it is just provocateurs that are never happy…..

There for awhile I thought that Trump would veto the bill that condemned China for their responses to the protesters and for their disregard of the democratic process…..

I can say now that I am pleasingly happy with the news that Trump has signed the bill….

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed into law legislation that could bring diplomatic action and economic sanctions against Hong Kong, brushing off multiple warnings by China against such a move.

“The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act reaffirms and amends the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, specifies United States policy towards Hong Kong and directs assessment of the political developments in Hong Kong,” the White House said in a statement.

“Certain provisions of the act would interfere with the exercise of the president’s constitutional authority to state the foreign policy of the United States.”

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3039673/donald-trump-signs-hong-kong-human-rights-and-democracy-act

The one question that this situation begs…..is what will happen with the negotiations between China and US on trade?

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

The Train Wreck

And I cannot look away!

I have people ask me all the time just how I can watch/read about the politics of this country day after day….

It is just fascinating watching the conversation coming from the president change almost hourly…..Trump presidency is truly a train wreck in progress…..

In the corrosive and dangerous Trump presidency, the outrages fly so fast and the chaos mounts so thoroughly that it’s easy to pass off the entire unsettling phenomenon as one more made-for-TV-and-Twitter unreality show. New outrages drive the previous ones from our minds.

In recent days, two questions have dominated the discussion: Did he abuse his presidential power to boost his own political fortunes by pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter? And is he obstructing justice by not cooperating with an impeachment inquiry?

These two questions have such enormous consequences for the nation that they may overshadow other alarming actions and traits. But we must not disregard the many other actions that have led to the hollowing out of our institutions, the cheapening of our spirit, the undermining of our values. Faced with the challenge to unseat, indeed to repudiate, Trump and his pernicious program for America, it’s essential not to forget the true damage he has done, continues to do and threatens to continue.

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2019-10-20/trump-failures-outrages

Image

The nation’s government is looking like a tragedy….in 3 acts……

As the Ukraine scandal unfolds, President Donald Trump and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani are frequently compared to a Mafia boss and his lawyer. We should be so lucky, because that would certainly mean the end of the mob.

It’s difficult to put into words how inept Giuliani is. But we’ll try… by making him a character in one of the most iconic mob movies in history: The Godfather.

It is the story of Don Corleone, a Mafia boss portrayed by Marlon Brando. Trump is often compared to this character while Giuliani is seen as playing the role of Corleone’s right-hand man (consigliere) Tom Hagen.

A key difference is that, while Hagen is extremely capable and effective, Giuliani clearly isn’t. So we thought it would be fun to imagine a mafia film modeled after scenes from the Godfather trilogy.

Our version stars Don Trump and his trusty sidekick Consigliere Giuliani as they hatch a foolproof plan to get prosecutors in the Ukraine to dig up dirt on their hated enemy, Sleepy Joe. We call it “The Ukraine Scandal — a Tragedy (for Democracy) in Three Acts.”

A Tragedy (for Democracy) in Three Acts

This whole drama begs the answer to one outstanding question….Is The US Political System Beyond Repair?

Well is it?

Moving ahead with the impeachment of Donald Trump is a good idea. Indeed, the fact that it is moving forward is a sign of the deep fissures in the ruling class. They are very divided. Even if it is done within the limited parameters hoped for by Pelosi and other mainstream Democrats, the process should expose the criminality of one party of the ruling class and the venality of both.

Despite the claim by some, the impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump and others in his administration is not just cosmetic. Furthermore, because it is part of a process to ensure the government continues—to repair it, if you will—impeachment will not change the system.

Is the US Political System Beyond Repair?

Matters not if one is a supporter of Trump or not…..it is just fascinating watching the hole get deeper and deeper with every Tweet…..

So much happening and so little time…..we had better get this whole thing right or we could possibly kiss our way of life goodbye.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

A Call To Democracy

Once you got past the lies spread by our president you may heard about the protests going on Hong Kong……

Hong Kong citizens marched for hours Sunday in a massive protest that drew a late-in-the-day apology from the city’s top leader for her handling of legislation that has stoked fears of expanding control from Beijing in this former British colony, the AP reports. Nearly 2 million of the city’s 7 million people turned out, according to estimates by protest organizers. Police said 338,000 were counted on the designated protest route in the “peak period” of the march. A week earlier as many as 1 million people demonstrated to voice their concern over Hong Kong’s relations with mainland China in one of the toughest tests of the territory’s special status since Beijing took control in a 1997 handover. Well after dark, crowds gathered outside the police headquarters and Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s office.

On Saturday Lam suspended her effort to force passage of the bill, which would allow some suspects to be sent for trial in mainland China. The move did not appease Hong Kong residents who see it as one of many steps chipping away at Hong Kong’s freedoms and legal autonomy. In a statement issued late Sunday, Lam noted the demonstrations and said the government “understands that these views have been made out of love and care for Hong Kong,” adding: “The chief executive apologizes to the people of Hong Kong for this and pledges to adopt a most sincere and humble attitude to accept criticisms and make improvements in serving the public,” it said. Not enough, said pro-democracy activists, who demand that the Lam administration retire the proposed amendments and not bring them up again for passage at a later stage.

Now the MSM and its pundits are telling the world about the ruthlessness of the Chinese government…how they are doing they can to dash any hopes of a democracy movement….

How nice!

And yet people trying for their democratic rights elsewhere are ignored by the MSM…..take the state of Israel as an example…..they do all they can to subvert the movements in the West Bank and Gaza

You know I have hard time seeing a group of people with rocks as the aggressor in that situation….rocks against airstrikes, artillery, tanks etc……and the Palestinians are the aggressors…..and that is how lies get started.

In The Land Of The Free

Our politicians are always, no matter the party, telling us to take back our democracy from one party or the other…..but let’s be honest there are not telling you the truth……most of what they taunt is myths and lies…..

Myth No. 8—We have a democracy.

If you think we still have a democracy or a democratic republic, ask yourself this: When was the last time Congress did something that the people of America supported that did not align with corporate interests? … You probably can’t do it. It’s like trying to think of something that rhymes with “orange.” You feel like an answer exists but then slowly realize it doesn’t. Even the Carter Center and former President Jimmy Carter believe that America has been transformed into an oligarchy: A small, corrupt elite control the country with almost no input from the people. The rulers need the myth that we’re a democracy to give us the illusion of control.

Myth No. 7—We have an accountable and legitimate voting system.

Gerrymandering, voter purging, data mining, broken exit polling, push polling, superdelegates, electoral votes, black-box machines, voter ID suppression, provisional ballots, super PACs, dark money, third parties banished from the debates and two corporate parties that stand for the same goddamn pile of fetid crap!

Myth No. 6—We have an independent media that keeps the rulers accountable.

Our media outlets are funded by weapons contractors, big pharma, big banks, big oil and big, fat hard-on pills. (Sorry to go hard on hard-on pills, but we can’t get anything resembling hard news because it’s funded by dicks.) The corporate media’s jobs are to rally for war, cheer for Wall Street and froth at the mouth for consumerism. It’s their mission to actually fortify belief in the myths I’m telling you about right now. Anybody who steps outside that paradigm is treated like they’re standing on a playground wearing nothing but a trench coat.

Myth No. 5—We have an independent judiciary.

The criminal justice system has become a weapon wielded by the corporate state. This is how bankers can foreclose on millions of homes illegally and see no jail time, but activists often serve jail time for nonviolent civil disobedience. Chris Hedges recently noted, “The most basic constitutional rights … have been erased for many. … Our judicial system, as Ralph Nader has pointed out, has legalized secret law, secret courts, secret evidence, secret budgets and secret prisons in the name of national security.”

Myth No. 4—The police are here to protect you. They’re your friends.

That’s funny. I don’t recall my friend pressuring me into sex to get out of a speeding ticket. (Which is essentially still legal in 32 states.)

The police in our country are primarily designed to do two things: protect the property of the rich and perpetrate the completely immoral war on drugs—which by definition is a war on our own people.

We lock up more people than any other country on earth. Meaning the land of the free is the largest prison state in the world. So all these droopy-faced politicians and rabid-talking heads telling you how awful China is on human rights or Iran or North Korea—none of them match the numbers of people locked up right here under Lady Liberty’s skirt.

Myth No. 3—Buying will make you happy.

This myth is put forward mainly by the floods of advertising we take in but also by our social engineering. Most of us feel a tenacious emptiness, an alienation deep down behind our surface emotions (for a while I thought it was gas). That uneasiness is because most of us are flushing away our lives at jobs we hate before going home to seclusion boxes called houses or apartments. We then flip on the TV to watch reality shows about people who have it worse than we do (which we all find hilarious).

Myth No. 2—If you work hard, things will get better.

According to Deloitte’s Shift Index survey: “80% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs” and “[t]he average person spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime.” That’s about one-seventh of your life—and most of it is during your most productive years.

Myth No. 1—You are free.

And I’m not talking about the millions locked up in our prisons. I’m talking about you and me. If you think you’re free, try running around with your nipples out, ladies. Guys, take a dump on the street and see how free you are.

I understand there are certain restrictions on freedom we actually desire to have in our society—maybe you’re not crazy about everyone leaving a Stanley Steamer in the middle of your walk to work. But a lot of our lack of freedom is not something you would vote for if given the chance.

 
Read!  These observations are accurate and if you ask yourself questions after reading then you will agree.
 
But if you blindly follow then you deserve to lose the rights that you have one at a time until there is NOTHING left.