Our Democracy is Dead

Let’s do a postmortem.

No life signs
In a democracy, the will and needs of the people would be heeded and addressed by government. As most of us have suspected for years, and an incredibly thorough study by Princeton and Northwestern University has conclusively confirmed, America’s policy makers do not listen to, or care about, the American people. As we can also observe, neither do the rest of our government or our elections-hogging Republocratic Party.

Now let’s cut into the corpse and discover the cause of death:

A. False Choices and Controlled Opposition
How often have you found someone on your ballot who you really wanted to see in office and who had a chance to win? Our Republocratic Party presents us with candidates who can “win” an election (because this party duopoly erects huge hurdles against all other comers), but none of them will work for us. Often we just see “lesser evils.” Sometimes, the political machine manages to deceive some of us into thinking that some of those candidates are real choices. However, in reality, we get to choose from among fraudsters who all serve the oligarchs. No real choice, at all. Then, these false public servants blame their lack of service to us on the other fraudsters and we accept the lie and proceed to quarrel among ourselves for voting Republican or Democratic, i.e., false choice #1 or false choice #2. — Cause of death: a gullible electorate.

B. Systemic Restrictions
Even public servants who really want to help the people find they are up against hundreds of corrupt colleagues; against systemic structures, like private campaign financing and highly riggable election mechanisms; and against a huge army of 42,000 registered lobbyists, plus an estimated additional 219,000 other members of the “influence-lobbying complex” who write the law bills (and the short summaries our legislators can find time to read) and who secretly change the bills the night before they are voted on. If elected officials want to hold on to their power, their chances to make any positive change quickly shrink to zero. And, then, there is always the lure of obscenely-lucrative speaking engagements, insider trades, campaign and slush fund donations, and lobbying jobs (i.e., gigantic bribes!), which most of these politicians can’t seem to resist. (Data source: Democracy is Dead … Lobbyists Rule America) — Cause of death: money in politics. You can read about the history of Big Money’s rise to political power in America here.

C. Our Votes Don’t Count
From early on, power peddlers in our country invented underhanded methods like gerrymandering, vote buying, voter suppression, and ballot box stuffing to doctor the results of our elections. Over time they have become ever more sophisticated. Here is a page attempting to give a quick overview of the major types of election fraud in our past presidential elections from Truman to GW-Cheney. This year (2016) saw the train hit even sooner – in the Democratic primaries, denying Bernie Sanders his well-earned nomination. To sum this up, we either don’t get to vote or our votes don’t get counted honestly. Besides the massive voter purges and exclusions we’ve witnessed so far this year, there is simply no way we voters can verify what happens inside those electronic voting machines and the computers who tally their district or state-wide results. Cause of death: election tampering and fraud.

Conclusion: to resuscitate the patient, we must become less gullible and obsequious; must ban money from politics; must investigate all allegations of election fraud and political corruption; severely punish those crimes; and return to hand-counted paper ballots and diligent election monitoring.

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