Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Problem With Democracy

The Old Saw is that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others which have been tried.

Cutting to the chase, it's likely that democracy's appeal is tied to the wishful thinking that we all define Nirvana in the same way, when in reality it's like herding cats.

Today's makeup in Congress is the classic example which proves the point. Democrats, as acknowledged as a "party", have voting control in both the House and the Senate. But they are quarreling among themselves, and, left to their own devices, they will shoot themselves in the foot, proving that they can't stand prosperity.

It's likely sad but true, as Old Dude commented on my recent post about Roger Cohen, that Dems have used stimulus money for pet projects, and it's not obvious that they resulted in the desperately needed increase in jobs.

That's democracy at work, a system which recognizes and permits, even encourages all kinds of people to ask for, demand and get what they want, the big picture be damned.

If you've ever attended a small town meeting where everyone has his or her say, you've seen a microcosm of a democracy at work.

This is at best frustrating.

However, the larger threat is from the big moneyed lobbies who own the Congress. Politicians like their jobs. (What a job! Good pay, best health care system ever devised, which they want to deny their constituents, a work place where bloviation and pontification is expected, etc.. ) Trouble is they have have to be elected and re-elected to get and keep those jobs. That's why they sell themselves to the lobbies, who in return for big campaign donations, expect unwavering support for the lobby's agenda.

It seems ownership is spread around. The financial lobby kills regulation against it's excesses, big pharma and big insurance get obfuscation against health care reform, the military/industrial complex gets support for its war making toys, the NRA gets support for it's arm the nation agenda.(Did you see that TN now allows patrons of bars to pack heat, loaded guns? Madness!!!)

Total democracy is chaos, as in small town meetings. Representative democracy is organized chaos, as in the system the founding fathers envisioned. Patronage democracy, that which we have now, where follow the money is the clue to what is and isn't done, is oligarchy, bordering on monopoly. This is what we got when we eschewed monarchy. George Bush almost got us back to that.

It's not about governing, it's about ruling.

Chose your poison.

Lighthouse Keeper

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