I believe that, ultimately, Democracy is a gift we continually give OURSELVES. But, as a society, a nation, are we ACCEPTING and USING it?
I agree with the first sentence.
Answering your question, I'd say we have become incredibly gullible & complacent. It is essential to have an informed electorate, which we do not have.
Lots of information available, but of those who actually exercise the franchise on election day, many are swayed by soundbites or last minute ad campaigns.
When those who govern are packaged & sold to us no differently than mustard or Oscar Meyer weiners, then campaign directors can appeal to the lowest common denominator, which is what we see happening again & again.
And here's another thought. The Founding Fathers had the idea of the citizen politician - someone who would serve for a defined period of time, then return to private life. Now, we have mostly career politicians & what does every politician want? Another term, so the pandering & playing to the base is a never-ending story.
Sorry...did not mean to rant or be depressing.
I agree with so much of what you say. I can remember when 60 Minutes interviewed John Kerry and John Edwards in the 2008 election. When Edwards was asked what the platform meant to him he said that the message they wanted to get out was to tell the electorate what they wanted to hear. This was dumbfounding to me. The message was quite clear that there was only one agenda and that was get elected by whatever means.
Another note to your post is that the early serving political members of the government found it to be a painful ordeal for them to be dragged away from their plantations and farms to serve a term. But it was the fact that they served the people as a true act of community. A far cry from the self seeking "Slime on the Hill" we now have serving themselves.
Definitely with you. Well said! Personal responsibility and common sense have given way to catch phrases and empty rhetoric.
We probably have a more informed electorate today than ever before.
Democracy isn't dead, nor is it dying...it is being systematically taken away from the people by both parties without a fight and has been for some time. The real threat to democracy now however is the extreme left socialist agenda of Obama and the socialist democrat congress and their misguided socialist agenda which they plan to shove down the throats of Americans at any cost because they know what's best for us.
I am not however, ready to admit defeat. We must rise up and with loud voices overcome the tyranny of the socialist agenda of Obama and his socialist scum democrats to impose their will upon us with health care and carbon cap and trade! Make no mistake, this is not about health care, but about freedom! This must be stopped at all costs!
Since we in the USA live in a republic, our government receives its authority from us through our elected representatives. The Constitution gives us the power to govern ourselves if we choose to do so. We should not criticize national policy and, at the same time, be unwilling to invest our own time and effort to change it. Nor is it reasonable for us to demand smaller, less intrusive, government and, at the same time, demand more services and perks. If we do not want some bureaucratic committee deciding if we should receive life saving surgery, then we should not give the government the authority to make those decisions for us. If we want a better republic, we should work within the process to make it happen. My greatest fear is that we, as a nation, will not realize how precious our liberty is until after it has been taken away from us.
Q, I couldn't agree more. What is lacking, not just in America but in general, and through history, is passive complaint by citizens. You must use the system if you wish to fight the system. I do not mean fight even but if you seek change, you must choose avenues to work through. There are means and ways of implementing change.
I think that this past election reflected a highly democratic event. The US had one of its highest voter turnouts in many years. I did not like the results of the election, but I was glad to see so many Americans take a decisive action at the polls and act in accordance with their wishes.
But it's time for Americans to act again in 2010. We have a president and a Congress that are going to send this nation to the poor house faster than you can say "democracy" if we don't do something to stop them. They are doing the opposite of what should be done to restore fiscal sanity. And the best way that I know to do that is to turn the president's party out of office next year. When we had a Democrat president and a Republican Congress in the 1990s, the deficits were declining for a time. This seems to be a formula for success.
The kiddies in Congress are having too much fun in Fantasyland, spending money that doesn't exist to create a wishful-thinking health care system that will cover everyone at the lowest common denominator. It's time for the adults to exercise their democratic rights and send the kiddies home.
I'm not sure it's dead, but it's dying, for sure.
The leaders have lost their way, and there are too battles on too many fronts for any real progress to "redeem" what has been lost.
I see it sliding into worse every year.
Don't know. Love America, but I think I'm going to Germany for a little while to get over the political steam as well as the hot air.
It's dying, the damn liberals are sucking the life's blood out of it!
Your posts seem to play a similar tune. Blaming one thing for all the woes of this country may seem easy, but the remedies you suggest as a reaction to that observation point to returning congress to conservative reblican rule. The last eight years mostly under congressional and executive republican conservative rule was not very successful.
Maybe you can enlighten me to what you really mean if I am wrong in my assessment.
I wouldnt say there are any real democracies in the world except maybe bolivia or venezuela. most much vaunted western democracies are just a veneer, using elections to give the appearance of democratic control. But to me a democracy would entail so much more than voting once every 4 or 5 years. That's not to say that democracies don't have much freedom for their people but I think actual democracy is not fully developed.
Especially in America where it seems so visible that politics is bought by lobbyists and business.
democracy and capitalism goes together, there is no absulute democracy
Sadly, I think of anything in North America as more of a dictatorship. Why? People demand so much from the government. Police this, protect us from that, now what has happened? We have SO MANY laws in place to give the public what they wanted, in fact, we have taken it away.
Read the hub in here about people getting harassed for hanging their laundry outside. That's how it always starts.
I little more love to the person next door would be the biggest change all of us could make. It's easy to blame the government, but to a large degree, the people are responsible.
we still have forum and we still have Glenn Beck and everybody who wants to say something
of course everybody needs to protect their own interests, the main stakeholders like lobbyists, politicians, consumer etc., capitalists
the root cause of all of this is MONEY...Capitalism...
Democracy and freedom are gifts we recive purely by existing. They cannot be taken away from us. We can only refuse to acknowledge them. Many people refuse to seek and speak truth. Even brutal repression cannot take this away. Remember when a hundred-thousand Syrian women marched on Damascus in protest of their gov't's repressive policies? That's the sort of thing I'm talking about. So called democratic gov'ts like ours know they can't force us into complacency. They can only tempt us into it. Hence, commercialism and consumer comforts. And whenever they take steps to make the rich much richer and the poor much poorer, they are admitting that they are threatened by our lack of complacency.
I wouldnt say democracy and capitalism go together, capitalism has many times destroyed democratic governments around the world.
We shouldn't live in a democracy we should live in a republic as intended. Unfortunately, the majority don't realize it.
This is a great informative video. The problem with those who get caught up with defining government seem to forget the many variations our country has with it. A lot of people define us as a democratic rebublic which covers a lot of ground but what we have is a perverted version of both.
No longer are the people or the government in charge of governing us. Money is governing us and that is our downfall. Equal rights or fairness in the marketplace is over ruled by big money. Buying favor with restriction of trade and laws is something that gives a competitor an advantage that can't be overcome for many and result with the one who buys favor to prosper.
Democracy; Do you want the wooden spoon or the belt? (Dead)
NO! Son, thats the prisim of multiculturism!
P.S. I thought I'd just respond with humour but I can't help but mention/question... Are you of the belief that democracy is a real system? Is not capitalism the system and democracy only a vote for captain of the team (dictator) capitalism/socialism blah blah blah sorry if its not what you meant but for those who do subscribe to such beliefs... sigh..
Not to say the President really does much whoever is in power. President of Capitalism is Capital. President Corporate. Same goes for Socialism. Capitalist dictators will give you the option, spoon or belt. Socialist will choose for you. Either way you get beat.
I could tell you some stories... spoons, whips, paddles, the list goes on,
Does that mean I am a capitalist? Oh no. Is it sex or money that is the root and evil?
Like that time I took mums credit card to the strip club?
In answering this question it is interesting to note that in no other western democracy has the son of a former president become president, and the wife of a former president become secetary of state.
This is not to say that I believe democracy is dead within the USA, I believe that it is alive and thriving,for example take President Obama's health reforms whether they are the right or wrong course of action does not matter, the fact is that they are an act of democracy. The USA was the first true democratic republic and its democracy is thriving still today. As a neutral participant (I'm British) I think it is important to mention this.
As a neutral myself, I feel the need to say you scare me.
Democracy is a myth. Britain, America, Australia what? now Iraq. Yeah right! There never was never will be. Health reform goes up, health reform goes down, taxes go up, taxes go down, republican, democrat, republicam, democrat, labour, conservative, labour, conservative, war, war, war, less wages, less wages, more bills more bills.......Dictators.
May i ask what your political views are and which country you are from? Thanks.
P.S. I agree that a true democracy is and always will be an impossibility as long as people are involved but what are the alternatives to the current systems?
You may ask my political views, of course. My answer is already there in the comment you have quoted, is that not clear. My political views are very simple, power serves itself. Done, dusted, finito. My view is that politics is politics, I do not side with any party or manifesto or system.
So far as alternatives, I believe there are no real alternatives. Political systems are always replaced, that is just how it is. Like science, political theory moves with knowledge. Is there an alternative, of course, many. Some alternatives would be all the system prior and other alternatives are a new theory or continue remodelling what we currently live with. Do I believe there is a better alternative? Not really. Corruption is in the human nature.
Exactly power always corrupts, us humans are to selfish and greedy but we have to make do with the best we have. The more people that vote the more representative government will be.
And just to be clear I dont side with any political party I vote for who I think would be the lesser of the evils and will represent my views.
Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.
John Adams, Letter, April 15, 1814
So prophetic and still so true.
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."
"When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe."
I have the consolation of having added nothing to my private fortune during my public service, and of retiring with hands clean as they are empty.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Count Diodati, 1807
Don't you wish this could be said of current politicians.
It's not dead or dying. It's as contentious and imperfect as it has always been.
Maybe you are right. I don't know for sure. But, don't be too surprised to wake up one day, to find some or all values and liberties you took for granted, are "vanished in the haze".
I sincerely hope I'm wrong. I like America, and Americans. I owe them (y'all) much.
Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.
John Adams, Letter, April 15, 1814
"Democracy is dead and we have killed it"
The truth is that as long as humans are involved true democracy like true communism is not possible. We are all too greedy. But what alternatives are there?
Well thankfuuly we are a democratic rebublic. That gives us the right through representation to change what does not work. Unfortunately it is something we do not exercise too often. The result of pure democracy is determined by the majority. Unfortunately the majority don't vote. You should read my hub on this. Self Rule.
I agree it is right we do not exercise often, but as you said the majority don't vote they are happy to leave the system as it is.
What a testimony for the implication it makes toward our freedom and the exercise of it. As more of our freedoms are eroded by the ruling class it will be a shame when it is too late for us to take them back. John Adams said "But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever."
Good question. The problem has always been about sustaining democracy. Whether its in place? I think it it
Lesser of two evils. I get the concept. I would rather not vote evil to run my country. In Australia, where I live, apparently a democracy, I will be fined if I do not vote. How is that freedom? It is a contradiction. They are all the same.
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