Is American Democracy A Mirage?

I have as well as others have been concerned about the rhetoric and later the actions of some politicians to curb the democratic process in this country.

For me this disturbing trend began with the demonization of minorities by Reagan in 1980….and slowly it became the agenda for the Right…..then in 2010 the obstructionism came into the chambers of Congress….and as they say that brings us to today……

For instance…he GOP is attacking the way that votes are counted as well as the access to voting…..

The GOP are not a political party as we have known such for most of our history. They are closer to a camp of oligarchic terrorists, employing techniques used by Fascists and other authoritarian regimes, and excoriated in 1984, to attempt a slow-moving coup, , whose aim is the destruction of voting rights, constitutional democracy, and the creation of a one-party state.

https://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/the-gop-are-not-just-trying-to-suppress-the-vote-they-are-trying-to-control-the-count-kpkn/

But has this really come to fruition?

Is American democracy just a mirage?

It is no longer an unknown fact or a view propounded by a handful of radical historians and political scientists: the American political system has such severe structural flaws that it is potentially antithetical to democracy and surely detrimental to the promotion of the common good.

Consider the following stark realizations about the condition of American democracy as evidence of the changing times:

The United States has been rated for a number of consecutive years by the Economist Intelligence Union as a “flawed democracy.”  

Scores of highly respected mainstream scholars have analyzed massive amounts of data showing that public opinion counts very little in US policymaking (see, for example, Larry Bartels, Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age; Princeton University Press, 2nd ed., 2016) to conclude that the American political system works essentially in a manner that actually subverts the will of the common people. 

Others, like Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, have argued that, because of rules set in the political system, the American economy is rigged to favor the rich, a view that is obviously wholeheartedly endorsed by Kishore Mahbubani, Distinguished Fellow from Asia Research Institute, at the National University of Singapore, when he declares that the US functions like a democracy but is actually a plutocracy.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/06/27/american-democracy-will-remain-mirage-without-dramatic-overhaul-political-and

The American democratic process is being assaulted on all sides by the states….and make no mistake it is an assault.

If we pretend that the balance will return as well as the democratic process is nothing more than a pipe dream…..the people need to take back the process.

If we do not fight back then our very nation is in jeopardy…..

There is an Orwellian thought that I like….“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” 

Or maybe it should be this…..

“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.”
 
So is American democracy just a mirage?
 
I will let this GOP slug answer that question….
 

Newly leaked video footage of a recent event hosted by the right-wing group Patriot Voices shows Republican Rep. Chip Roy of Texas openly admitting that his party wants “18 more months of chaos and the inability to get stuff done” as President Joe Biden, a bipartisan group of senators, and congressional Democrats work to pass climate and infrastructure legislation.

“Honestly, right now, for the next 18 months, our job is to do everything we can to slow all of that down to get to December of 2022,” Roy says in the clip, referring to the month after that year’s midterm elections. Republicans need to flip just a handful of seats to take back the House and Senate.

“I don’t vote for anything in the House of Representatives right now,” Roy says in response to an audience member’s question about the sweeping infrastructure and safety-net package that Democrats are planning to pass unilaterally alongside a White House-backed bipartisan deal.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/07/07/leaked-video-gop-congressman-admits-his-party-wants-chaos-and-inability-get-stuff

I weep for my country…..the ignorance and stupidity prevails and we lose all hope of a freedom to do our desires.
 
Enough Said!
 
I Read, I Write, You Know
 
“lego ergo scribo”

Is The Democratic Process Dead?

The basic right within this democratic process is the right to vote….and there seems to be an all out assault on that right.

A majority of states have tried to enact statues that would seriously limit the access to a voting location….even to make it illegal to give water to those standing in the long lines to vote….

So my thought is that this is an assault on the very foundation of this country….

How did it come to this?

A Reuters/Ipsos poll released in April 2021 indicates that a majority of Republicans feel that the presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump. On January 6, when Congress convened to count and certify the electoral votes, 147 Republican members of the House of Representative voted against certification even after a mob had taken over the U.S. Capitol. This is unprecedented. Never before has a major political party rejected the results of a presidential election. What caused this phenomenon? When and how did forces come together resulting in an attack on democracy by a major political party?

American history is replete with presidential elections that could have been justifiably challenged. Many times results have been less than clear-cut and controversial. Before the 12th Amendment each elector would cast two votes. The candidate with the most votes became president and the runner-up vice-president. In the 1800 election, Jefferson and Burr, the Democratic Republicans, tied for first. It was left to the House of Representatives controlled by the Federalists to decide whether Jefferson or Burr would be president. They chose Jefferson, who was then accepted by all sides as our third president. Today it would be inconceivable for a Republican Congress to decide which Democrat is elected president. But that happened in 1800 as the Federalists accepted the Electoral College system as prescribed by the Founding Fathers.

https://www.rawstory.com/voter-suppression-2653188180/

All this assault brings into question whether the foundational right of this country is in jeopardy….

Do not overlook the process known as gerrymandering…..which will begin soon….that is when politicians pick their voters and not the reverse.

Democracy may well be dead!

n the wake of the bloody insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, one question lingered along with the stench of tear gas and bear spray — was that abomination a one-off, or was it in fact the start of something new, something far more ominous? In the aftermath of the January 6 attack I gave my own guess in an article called “Trump’s Storm Troopers: First Blood.” “Stay tuned,” I advised. “This is just the beginning.” 

Now, five months out, we can see the larger pattern that is forming. The United States is being threatened from within as it has not been since the Civil War. We are once again becoming a nation divided, with family members pitted against each in bitter recrimination. The new Mason-Dixon Line can be almost anything — a MAGA hat, a Black Lives Matter sign, an absentee ballot. Suspicions over COVID-19, masking, and vaccinations simply followed the fault lines already laid bare by the last election, to the point where the pandemic itself became political. The country now seems in gridlock, with a third of the population determined to continue fighting the last election. 

Democracy Is Dead! Long Live Democracy!

You have taken your democratic rights for granted…..and now  you are witnessing the slow process of the loss of those rights.

https://www.rawstory.com/republican-gerrymandering/

Image

 

Image

Sadly Americans are sitting by a waiting for all this silliness to pass…..and then it will be too late…..and YOU will be to blame!

Democracy is not dead….but it is walking with a limp.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The League Of Democracies

This is a brilliant idea (sarcasm) of the Biden admin….bringing together all the democracies in a summit atmosphere…..I comment on the idea when it was first announced…..https://lobotero.com/2021/02/03/a-summit-for-democracy/

This sounds like a con job as usual….it will be nothing more than rhetoric from the Cold War….and will not really be about ‘democracy’ at all…..

Reliable reports continue to circulate that President Biden intends to call for a “summit of democracies” to convene this summer, although concerns that such a large gathering might become a super-spreader of the coronavirus may delay those plans. The implicit goal is to create a political, diplomatic (and eventually a military) bloc of democratic countries to contain the power and influence of the two leading authoritarian states, Russia and China, and to counter the supposedly surging appeal of authoritarianism globally. It is a concept that is deeply flawed both conceptually and in terms of execution. Indeed, the pursuit of this pernicious chimera has the potential to poison America’s already fragile relations with several important countries and to heighten risks to the security and well-being of the American people.

Biden and key advisers highlighted their wish to create a league of democracies (under Washington’s benevolent leadership, of course) even before the administration took office. Biden himself gave the proposal considerable prominence during the 2020 presidential election campaign. He and other officials also have exhorted Washington’s existing democratic alliance partners to create a common front against both Moscow and Beijing.

In remarks delivered on December 28, the president-elect stated that “as we compete with China and hold China’s government accountable for its abuses on trade, technology, human rights, and other fronts, our position will be much stronger when we build coalitions of like-minded partners and allies to make common cause with us in defense of our shared interests and values.” Biden added that “on any issue that matters to the U.S.-China relationship,… we [the United States] “are stronger and more effective when we are flanked by nations that share our vision for the future of our world.”

The Fraudulent ‘League of Democracies’ Scheme

This is a waste of time and energy……for the US turns a blind eye to nations that pretend to be a democracy while committing heinous crimes against people.

US needs to cease being a huge hypocrite on the world stage…..how can we truly be a world leader when the word ‘democracy’ means NOTHING to us?

This is a pathetic attempt to bolster the station of the M-IC…..not about the people of any given country.

It is about profit over people…..the usual crap we pretend is democracy.

A League of Democracies is a huge con job.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

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”