Is Our Democracy an illusion?

Democracy, a Remote Ideal

We have many words in the constitution and the media that create illusions. Democracy, liberty, freedom, national welfare and many other words are a few of these words.

While we have been futilely spreading democracy around the world, costly in tax money and lives, Americans have been lulled by the word national interests and are experiencing the destruction of our own democracy.

Athenian statesman and orator Pericles (495-429 B C) described the Athenian system of rule, which is close to my definition of a true democracy.  

Its administration favors the many instead of the few; this is why it is called a democracy. If we look to the laws, they afford equal justice to all in their private differences; if no social standing, advancement in public life falls to reputation for capacity, class considerations not being allowed to interfere with merit; nor again does poverty bar the way, if a man is able to serve the state, he is not hindered by the obscurity of his condition. The freedom which we enjoy in our government extends also to our ordinary life.”

If he could have been the moderator at the pseudo and hilarious but frightening debate in Iowa it may have been more authentic. It was agonizing watching the shallow questions and answers of candidates for President of our country. They all had similar answers to softball questions and spent much of their time bashing the President who wasn’t there to defend himself.

The candidates aggrandizing their personal life must not have learned in history about the morals of our slave owners, adulterers, heavy drinkers, orgy participants of that period and the intemperate lives of our leaders, including congress members, elected thereafter. All that glitters is not gold.

If a person is interested in real news watch Jon Stewart’ program or the first five minutes of Saturday Night Live as they delve behind the news the network media neglects.

The last two SNL openings were especially thought provoking; especially the chart ranking the most powerful people in the country. Congress was ranked first with Grover Norquist second, followed by Oprah Winfrey and a few other notables. The President was near the bottom just above Carrot Top. Parts of this ranking may be exaggerated, but much of it is real and worth taking seriously.    

I write about this as in the 1950s, living in Wisconsin, I registered as a Republican so I could vote against Joe Mc McCarthy in the Primaries. I maintained this registration through most of the years as a means of choosing the most able Republican for all elected offices. If a Republican should win I wanted the most able one as my representative.

This year is going to be difficult as they all give the same meaningless views. I was most impressed with Ron Paul as he actually answered some questions. I agree with many of his Libertarian policies, but their full approach, similar to the Tea Party’s, would be like having a football game without any rules; which we’ve had had for many years.  

I have decided to vote for Michele Bachmann as it would be worth money to witness her debate Obama

Maybe her husband who can change homosexuals into heterosexuals could change Obama family to white. This would enable him to get some of his programs passed in congress. This would eliminate the fears of most Southerners and subdued racists. They really don’t have to worry about the few middle class blacks as most blacks are segregated in substandard living conditions. Eliminating child labor laws, Newt’s solution to their problem is ludicrous.   

I admire the Occupiers’ and hope they aren’t too late in their efforts. Until we can bring the jobs back from other countries there won’t be enough jobs to go around. One of the basics of economics is the power of supply and demand. The only way this could happen would not only replace our present congress, but our democratic system including our election satire.      

Change comes from the bottom up, but vigilance of the many can be powerful against the few.




7 responses to “Is Our Democracy an illusion?

  1. Great article Dad!

  2. With all the problems in our country, it is still the best in the world, in my opinion. We are far from ideal, but we are closer than many nations.

    • Sheryl–I appreciate your comment, but can’t agree or disagree with your premise as have never lived in another country. If we all sit quietly and wave our flag we will suffer the same fate as the Roman Empire. “If we all sit still quetly the track we will be run over. I feel a need to question and not accept my country right or wrong.

  3. Vicki Sue McKinnis

    I appreciate the history lesson and views expressed ….though I can’t say I agree with them all. For example, I hardly would accept all of John Stewart’s views and wouldn’t throw my vote away with Michele. Ron Paul always has my ear, although I also fear that we have special interest groups in control of our government with such power that his policies probably couldn’t actually work. I do heartily agree that our government seems to be catering to the needs of the top “few” rather than the majority. I also hope that the Occupy Movement can make a difference, but fear that the powers in control may have too tight a grasp for any peaceful change to occur. I also fault the masses in that we are not holding our representatives “feet to the fire” as we should. One example is the current legislation hidden as an Amendment to NDAA which among other things gives the military the right to operate on American soil, detain people without trial for an indefinite period of time etc. Why aren’t we all up in arms over this? “They” tell us that it is to protect us from “terrorists, ” however we are naive if we don’t realize that the definition of a “terrorist” can change at any time and may someday include anyone who disagrees with current policies.

    While listening to President Obama during the 60 Minutes program this week, I felt so sad. He is so likable; so sincere. He says just what I want to hear. How I wish I could actually trust him to be looking out for the “middle class” rather than the Banksters and Wall Street Mob. Unfortunately, in looking deeper at the legislation he has passed, for example the Wall Street Reform Act, it seems that his words and actions are not congruous. When he refers to our “need to compete in the global market,” I wince, as I don’t see him putting legislation in place to bring jobs back to US soil, and if we are each competing individually for job being sent to China, Costa Rica and India, we will be stuck in poverty.

    I agree with Sherri, that our government is probably superior to many corrupt regimes in other countries, but I hope that we can correct the problems we have and hold to the ideals of our founding fathers.

  4. Vicki Sue–Excellent comment, but wish you would read the blog over a few more times and see if I have addressed your concerns. I would like to post your comment after the views lessen.

  5. “Change comes from the bottom up, but vigilance of the many can be powerful against the few.” Best line of the whole article in my opinion. I wonder what difference it would have made if every time we ( the many) as a nation would have spoke up as television shows started with degrading humor (the few), and blatant moral lapses, paid attention as our governments became fiscally lax and the many small things that have brought us to a world of turmoil and commotion.

  6. Vicki Sue McKinnis

    Thanks Dad, you did in fact address my concerns. I appreciate your humor. I was commenting ‘tongue in cheek’ about your plan to vote for Michele Bachmann and your reference of John Stewart as a source for news. I agree that main stream media cannot be trusted to properly inform us anymore . I also can hardly stomach watching the debates as it is more like watching a season of “Survivor” than what you would expect from the USA president elections.

    You made many points that I totally agree with, and I especially appreciated the history you brought forward. For example, we need to be aware of the historical precedent for governments confiscating food as a part of squelching opposition. I recently read a newspaper article in Tennessee where the state government is going door to door doing a survey of 22 questions to find out the level of emergency preparedness of each family. They are doing this as a public service…..yeah right….let’s remember that Stalin purposely inflicted the 1933 famine after confiscating food and seed which caused the death of millions of Ukrainians. A recent Newsweek article reviewiedv the history of the Great Depression, which we seem to be repeating now as the banking crisis in Europe will soon spill over into the USA as it did then. Also, in my opinion, it’s time for us to start paying attention to the way in which Fascism rose in Germany, (and is fully alive in the hearts of many in our current government.) I just read that President Obama has backed away from his commitment to veto the legislation which gives the military the right to operate on American soil and detain people suspected as terrorists without trial for an indefinite period of time. This reminds me of the witch hunts that caused the death of millions of women in the 1500’s. It also seems that we aren’t remembering the stories of children turning their own parents over to the Nazi’s because of anti-establishment opinions voiced in their own homes ( behavior of “terrorists”).

    The Constitution seems to be hanging by a thread. While our founding fathers may not have been perfect men, I would trade them for the group currently sitting in the USA government halls of power. I like to think that they were inspired men, sincerely working to set up a government that would protect the people…whereas the group we have leading us now seem only concerned about satisfying those who are paying for their re-elections.

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