Preserving American Democracy

Preserving American Democracy
Preserving democracy

A notion that has really solidified for me this week is that America is really two countries masquerading as one; and, America has (at least) three political parties masquerading as two.  From an historical standpoint it’s quite interesting.  But as a potentially detrimental factor in the global community, it doesn’t bode well for the future.

Why is it that all politicians lie until they say something someone wants to believe – no matter how untrue – and it then becomes gospel?  I already know the answer, but that just makes it all the more depressing.

The U.S. government shut down – now in week two – offers prime examples of this doublethink.  People, who purport fiscal responsibility, have put the American economy in jeopardy.  People, who purport to be constitutional patriots, ignore the rules of democracy and the very principles upon which America was built.  People, who purport to believe in civil negotiation, actually mean “we talk and you do as we say.”  And what’s worse… just read the comments on any given news article related to the shut down.  If some of those are the actual reflection of American values… it’s just mind-boggling.  And those same people think I’m talking about the other guy…

This crisis – with another looming on the horizon (the debt ceiling) – cannot come to an end with the Democrats “negotiating” on Tea Party Republican terms.

Why?

Because if President Obama gives into hostage-style demands it sets a precedent for all future governments – of any political stripe in a minority situation – to do the same.  “If they could get away with it, then why can’t we?”

(Read: I Miss My Canadian Politics)

Flip the tables for a second.  If it were the Dems instead of the Republicans… would this style of so-called governance be acceptable?  Absolutely not.  So, why would anyone in their right mind open that door?  It is simply counter-intuitive and, frankly, anti-democratic.

Democracy is where the majority rules.  That doesn’t mean you don’t get to have your say… it just means that you won’t always get your way.

Erin Drushel

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