reply to post by Krazysh0t
You make some excellent points and they are ones I see raised here on a near daily basis in terms of one side saying to tear down the system and
another advocating that we work within it.
I think my leanings on this are as clear as can ever be made but I'd like to address your points as to why. After all, I'm committed at this point
to years of my life just being educated to where I can move to the active side of trying to change anything. To say I strongly believe in it is
redundant to an extreme.
I'd start by noting the most obvious and most damning of the evidence against the argument that the system doesn't work. That is simply this. We
need to try before determining it's not functional.
In this most recent 2012 election this site was full of posts and people decrying any
suggesting of even voting, let alone doing anything more. That's certainly not the way to attempt working with something before declaring it a lost
cause. It can be put into numbers though and the numbers are startling.
The National Presidential General Elections turnout range between 50-60%
and usually to the lower side of it.
National off-year elections run a pathetic 30-40%
on average. These numbers hold fairly steady going back a good distance in time for
elections looked at. (50% of Congress is elected in these
If we don't even show up, we can't stand with the right to demand it change to our will and then condemn the system when it won't do just that. We
all need to at least show up.
A couple quotes come to mind on this as well.... The names should be familiar enough.
“If liberty and equality, as is thought by some are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in
the government to the utmost.”
"Anti-democracy...is a virus that exists, and pro-democracy is the antibody to that virus, and I think we have to become vigilant, and we have to
stay on top of the issues of democracy and freedom."
-- Harry Belafonte
Democracy is an objective. Democratization is a process. Democratization serves the cause of peace because it offers the possibility of justice
and of progressive change without force.
-- Boutros Boutros-Ghali
We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation
that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.
-- John F. Kennedy
Many folks like to quote Jefferson and his famous 'Tree of Liberty' observation. Well, that may be valid in the extremes of outcome. he made a
couple others though..
My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.
and...one with particular meaning today.
Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it
Democracy is a participatory system and the Representative Republic which we adhere to in the United States, even more so than other forms.
How many people here could give, without reading up, a 5 minute effective summary of how the Caucus and Primary systems function in your local area?
Those are the "grass roots" start of all that follows. That IS where your candidates are chosen. I saw when attending my local one for 2012...such
dismal numbers as to leave no doubt in my mind why our system doesn't work.
We have to care, as a nation, before we can see the nation care about us.
After all, we FORM the nation and if we don't form the Government that runs it, it's by our own choosing or more to the point, the apathy leading to
the complete lack of choosing either way.
When we've reached a point of clear majority participation, it's fair to declare failure. Until then, how could we even joke about people standing
to fight in any real sense....when simply rising to vote is too much trouble despite only asking time from our busy schedules a single day every 2-4
years. Even then, only a small part of that one day.
I'll agree the system has failed when we've given it anything like a fair shot to work a first time. It's not even important what side someone's
politics are. Participation by all is required and right now, we have meager participation by the most political. We get what we work for. Work has