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Op/Ed Democratic/Republic Responsibility: Voting

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posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 12:02 PM
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How can we as "free" people's truly revel in our liberty and freedom when there are those around the world who are denied these same rights simply because their Dictatorial leadership has cozied up with Western leaders and are therefore exempt from the category "Axis of evil". Democracy, parliament, congress, judiciary these things cannot be spread from the barrel of a gun, they are ideas and concepts that are drastically different than their predecessors. They call on societies to not only take personal responsibility for their actions, but to also take responsibility for the actions of their leaders. This step is most difficult as evidenced by the people here in the United States and to a lesser degree the peoples in the UK and Europe. We the people have failed to uphold our civic duty to the state. Not by not supporting the president and the administration, but by not holding our elected leaders accountable for their actions. Scandal and corruption have become so common place that instead of touting how they are not corrupt our leaders have been known to say things on shows like "Scarborough country", that their overall taint level is lower than an opposing candidate.
 

The difference between a true democratic republic and a mock one is participation by not only the Highest classes but also the lowest and most importantly the middle. But here in the United States a concept has permeated Washington called the Silent Majority. They are lovingly referring to you and me and all of us who used to be a part of the Middle Class. They refer to us as such because we don't vote unless we are irked or angry. When people stop voting democracies and republics stop being just that... they become dictatorships or oligarchies in disguise. Plagued by ever more virulent attack ads Gay bashing and Flag burning Political Correctness and name calling what has our political process devolved to?

When a president declares that he has a mandate from the people and won by a 2% margin its bad.... but when one realizes that barely 50% of the population voted its worse.... how can one receive a mandate when statistically 25% of the population elected you. Voter apathy is the death of a free state... voter apathy serves political leaders well because it allows them to garner more and more power while the voter is distracted with celebrity gossip and false intrigue on every channel.

Which brings me to 9-11.... I am particularly happy that I decided to write this on the 12th and not the 11th because September the 11th has been so politicized and so fought over as to totally debase any argument or rational discussion about it. Whether it was Islamic Fascists or our own Government.... whether it was a plane or a missile... it does not matter... what matters is that people died... every needless death is a tragedy... and it seems to me that our leaders on BOTH sides of the fence are using OUR tragedy to get elected. Everything in the pursuit of National Security. Five years later... am I safer... do I care.... is my neighbor a sleeper.... these are the questions that I honestly believe many Americans have. And then along comes ABC, yep I'm going there but only briefly. ABC's depravity is so evident as to be nauseating. To apply blame where blame is do is one thing and I would support it, however, to blatantly lie, misguide, and deceive to advance a political agenda is beyond comprehension, or at least it should be in a society who touts its "free-media".

We have exchanged the whips and chains of slavery for the Wallets, purses and cellphones of a mass consumption society. And while I'm sure that there are many among us who are completely fine with this style of life, is it enough for you? Do you really want to live your life from one entertainment show to the next... constantly wondering who is going to be on the next survivor or how SG-1 will survive the next attack by hostile aliens. Is that enough? Or are we meant for something more and instead of moving towards that goal, we, as not only a people but as a species, have stagnated to the point of decay.

While I am not one to spout morals or values... have our overall morals and values declined? Do we knowing and gladly accept things now that truly have no social value? What is social value? What is our social value? I believe that for a society to thrive there have to be certain underlying truths that make up the foundation of said society. Concepts that are not absolute or restraining but more like fundamental truths, ideas and concepts that we as a supposed "civilized and technological" society have learned. It seems that the basis of our society today is to gather as many "resources" as possible and horde them for oneself and family, by any LEGAL means. Not by any ethical means, but by any legal means.

Ask yourself how did you learn right from wrong... or how did you teach your children. Did you tell them that stealing is wrong... or that its illegal? Were you taught that drugs were bad because they could harm you or because they were illegal? Politicians, again on both sides, are constantly spouting that they've done nothing illegal. But why has no one stopped to ask if its right? Simply because one can do something does not mean that one should do something.

We have a chance to take responsibility for our actions in the upcoming weeks and months. I do not care who YOU vote for, or who you support. Even if that person is someone i disagree with. Vote, participate. Yes i know the vote doesn't count, it doesn't count because you say it doesn't. Not because "They" do! Politicians can say anything they want... it isn't true until you accept it as truth regardless of whether or not it is true. If you accept a lie as truth... it is truth until you decide to reexamine your paradigms. If we vote en masse... they cannot cheat or silence a vote... if we demand "fair and transparent" elections it will happen... but it cannot be from a country divided... it must come from a unified body or the voice is lost in the screams of the thousands of special interests. There are times for special interests and their are times for national unity. We are in need of some unity... since 1998 we have been country divided and have only grown more divided these last six years. So whether you are a Republican or a Democrat... an Independent or a Conservative... Libertarians... Greens... Liberals.... Commies.... we need to put aside our own personal partisan agendas and do what's best for not ourselves but for everyone. We can be better than what we are... we can make a world safe for democracy and all that gab... but most importantly we can live a life free of fear.

[edit on 12/9/2006 by Mirthful Me]




posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 08:41 AM
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Excellent posting....AMEN AMEN AMEN.

What many neo-cons and the those on the hard right refuse to accept is that:

(1) Democracy CANNOT as a rule be imposed with a barrel of a gun. There are exceptions, Japan after WW2 being the prime one, but then they also totally surrendered and the occupying American authority took great care in writing the new constitution. Note that they gave them a parliamentary system, unlike ours. Germany does not count in this case because they had an electoral history. Remember Hitler was voted in. To attempt to impose a democracy on any people runs antithetical to the notions and principles of democracy in the first place. And in the second, as our misadventure in Iraq shows, giving the people the vote does not promise that you will get the results you want or, especially in constructed countries such as Iraq (before the breakup of the Ottoman empire and the imposition of the British mandate Iraq was three totally seperate provinces, often hostile to each other) does it promise stablity. This very issue is at root of so many African problems...imposed national structures over often hostile ethnic ones. Democracy has to be nurtured, and especially in peoples that have no tradition of it, can take a very long time.

(2) The United States has not been a functioning democracy for quite some time. When less than half of the people regularly vote and smaller and smaller precentages determine the outcome, there is no way that it can be. Add to that when those small precentages (such as the hard right fundamentalists) tend to vote more than the general population and as a block, it becomes increasingly easy to establish a polity of a minority over the majority.

As it stands we are not given any real options in this country. Despite assertions to the contrary, a true left has never held sway here and even in its heyday never stood a chance of doing so. What we have are center/very slightly left (Democrats) and center/right (Republicans) and people understand this even if they cannot generally articulate it but voting shows it clearly. Basically what we have is an oligarchy of the wealthy with two wings neither left of center but posturing themselves as opposites. And in all reality this is how the founding fathers wanted it. They were terrified of the notion of a democracy and of a general sufferage hense they gave us initally a republic with an extremely limited franchise. Andrew Jackson is the one who really extended it to all (white, male) citizens.

Aristotle suggested that there were several distinct stages any polity goes through...monarchy...republic (or democracy)...dictatorship and anarchy. This model has been used ever since ranging from Gibbon to Spengler to Toynbee. It has played out in various formats in the west ever since ranging from classical Greek and Roman history to the meteoric French revolution from the the first crisis to Napoleon. Will it ring true for us? If the drop in voter turn out is any indication... we are in for a very rough ride.

Again an excellent posting.



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