Saturday, October 22, 2016

" Democracy" in America

You don't need to reprise the famous Frenchman's essays (Alexis de Toucquevile, wrote two volumes 1835 & 1840) on America to see the basic absence of so-called democracy here in the US of A. It wasn't very much back in the early 19th century either (slavery, only white male property owners could vote, et al). But now we are treated to sanctimonious rants from the Clinton camp and talking heads from the media about Trump's carrying on about a rigged election and his refusal to say he'll accept the results. Even more silly are the proclamations that Trump is hurting America's brand, that the world looks to us a the leading light of democratic elections, but the USA is the least democratic of advanced countries. As de Tocqueville put it, “There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle.”

The electoral systems in most of Europe, Latin America and some Asian countries is more democratic than our two-chambered House and Senate. This system allows crass manipulation of Congressional districts (Gerrymandering) by state governments. Most Congressional contests are rigged in advance (the incumbent re-election rate is 80+ per cent). Really democratic countries don't allow this. In many countries the elections are run by a central government agency that guarantees equal numbers of voters in each district and no partisan local level tampering. The Senate is a fraud. California has two Senators and Wyoming has two Senators. A handful of nearly unpopulated states controlled by right-wing nutjobs outvotes hugely populous states like New York and California. Democratic? Forget about it!

Besides the mechanical defects, we have a long and still active system of schemes to deny non-white people the right to vote in many states. This IS voter fraud and its practitioners should have been prosecuted and jailed long ago. But it remains a living part of our pseudo-democratic heritage.

The 2000 and 2004 elections were stolen on this basis in Florida and then Ohio.

Trump's raging about fixed elections and not accepting the results is more of a function of his sociopathic, narcissistic personality. He's a born bully and a crybaby. Outrage about his "insulting the great institution of American democracy" is nonsense.

There's one last compelling point to make. We live in a functional Plutocracy. The people who control this country, it's wealth and it's fundamental governing policies don't have to run for election. We have a super rich ruling class that gets what it wants no matter which party is in power. Some times they favor Republicans other times Democrats. Trump is too erratic and openly racist for the ruling class to back for this election; the smart capitalists know Clinton is their candidate. Some of the dumber, redneck capitalists back Trump, but even rightwing bigoted moguls like the Cokes and Adelson know that Clinton will be OK for them compared to Trump. We can also see why the ruling class and their political flunkies in both parties couldn't abide Bernie...socialism? workers and bosses? None of the current two-party players want to hear about that.

So...this is how it is. Reality is depressing...but I'm still going to vote for Jill Stein. That is a vote for a democratic system.

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