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The trouble with representative democracy

Published:

Last Edited: September 12, 2005, 12:51 pm

 

The problem with democracy of the US variety is that it encourages citizens to believe they ought to have some influence on important decisions, policies and directions involving their country. The framers of the US Constitution believed they’d taken care of the matter by restricting the powers of the Executive Branch, requiring the advice and consent of the US Congress for almost anything the President might take it in his mind to do.

The framers didn’t reckon on half a century of ‘emergency powers’ of the presidency. They also didn’t anticipate a Congress made up of career politicians.

The framers of the Constitution believed any US Congress would be jealous enough of the powers granted to it to be zealous in guarding those powers with any attempt of usurpation of them by the Executive Branch.

Today, war lovers don’t have to concern themselves with an opposition. They know there will never be a national referendum to measure whether a majority of Americans support the direction the country takes on any important matter.

They know the government doesn’t want to know, which is just fine with them.

The political parties offer up their cardboard cutout candidates each election, but there’s really no substantive issue in the choice for voters concerning such matters as foreign policy, the war on drugs, energy policy. There’s just the lineup of all the usual suspects, the character assassination, the empty promises about lower taxes.

The loyal opposition will find an outlet for their views. They’ve been conditioned to believe they should have some say in the running of their country, and though the government turns a deaf ear, those loyal opposition folks will always find a way.

Unfortunately, it always divides the country. They’ll use the fiery rhetoric and the tactics available to them, if they feel strongly enough, and they’ll win if their cause is strong. But in doing so, the nation will be torn further asunder.

The problem with democracy of the US variety is that it encourages citizens to believe they ought to have some influence on important decisions, policies and directions involving their country.

We’ve somehow got to break them of that, somehow convince them it’s none of their affair.

Jack

Incidently, here's an interesting link by a Vietnam vet: http://www.countryjoe.com/vietarchive.htm#5

 

Entry #274

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