Why Our U.S. Democracy is no Democracy

Dirk Droll

Democracy’s cure for this is to prevent the concentration of power by distributing it to as many people as possible. When they act in their self interest, the interests of the many, even of everybody, are taken care of — as opposed to only the interests of a few callous rulers.

A common misconception is that democracy is limited to simple voting (or worse: simple majority voting, which can often distort the attempt to distribute power equally); however, voting alone does not democracy make. Many dictators and despotic single-party regimes go through the motions of voting without sharing power with the people. Democracy requires a lot more: a free press; strong public debate; good education; and the protection and realization of free expression, protests, and direct action — as well as properly designed (and fraud-protected) campaign and voting systems that actually reflect the will of the people rather than result in a charade like our winner-take-all “two”-party system which is so easily bought up by a wealthy elite and then entertains us with a dog-and-pony show of faked democracy in which we are choosing from among utterly false choices. Example: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had such huge unpopularity ratings that only a totally-dysfunctional system could place them on our ballots as the only major candidate choices. In a functioning democracy, you would expect popular people. After all, it is majoritarian popular support that’s supposed to elevate them into office, not majoritarian popular disgust. Pretty obvious, no?

As long as we – the people – lack the political knowledge and clarity of mind to switch to a minor party candidate like Jill Stein back in November; mobilize to take over a party like the “Democratic” Party from within; or move en masse into a brand new people’s party before our next election, we allow ourselves to be played by a power-elite which places false choices like the Trump-Clinton duo on our ballots and feeds us false narratives that make most of us think that only candidates of the “two” major parties are valid candidates to vote for. The idea of this false narrative is that a vote for anyone else is “wasted”, even though it would win if only enough of us had the courage (or smarts, or wisdom) to vote in our interests, not the interests of the elite. After all, democratic voting is supposed to be voting for what you want, not for what you don’t want a little less than something even worse. Only by voting for what we want can we get what we want. However, the elite-owned corporate media and the elite-bought “two” major parties have been drumming it into our heads that voting for the “lesser” evil of our rulers’ choices is all we can do and that this is a great “democracy” to be proud of.

What a scam!

And so many still fell for it last November.

This is what we must change.

The elite has warped and co-opted our democratic institutions (including our formerly-free press) and manipulated our minds to such an extent that now we maintain our own oppression by using democratic processes (like voting) to undermine our democratic institutions and ourselves by voting for deplorable, treacherous candidates selected by our ruling class.

It’s time for us to wisen up and revive our democracy. And one more thing: the co-opting of our democratic institutions came from a decidedly undemocratic power-base in our society: unfettered capitalism, the successor to medieval feudalism, itself the successor to the Roman slave-holding society. Obviously, when we grow democracy again, we mustn’t restrict our work to only the public sector, but include the “private” sector by also democratizing our places of work and placing limits on the concentration of wealth and the power that brings. This way, not only our working lives will become less oppressed, but we won’t continue to empower despotic plutocrats in the private sector, who promptly abuse their wealth and power to usurp the public sector, creating a corporatist regime with ornamental democratic trappings such as we now have.