Northern Valley Beacon

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Election day thoughts on the failures of democracies

Nothing is more stupid than party leaders getting on television and radio and radiating optimism about how their party is going to win an election. When anyone does this, I lose immense amounts of respect for the person. It is as unseemly as abusing oneself on the busiest traffic corner in town. Aside from a few folks who are custodial patients at some developmental institution, I do not know of anyone who is impaired enough to believe this crap.

I will excuse a few people who get on the news shows and talk about polls. I used to run polls. Therefore, I know what transitory and tentative information they give. That most of them turn out to be fairly accurate does not change the fact that the polling samples can shift their intentions in a matter of hours. They are interesting gauges for political campaigns to test how they are doing, but they are not good predictors. People often do not do what they say they will do.

And that gets to the subject of failures of democracy. It is one thing to recognize that American democracy is an exquisitely crafted system that has worked well, for the most part, for 217 years under the Constitution, despite the dire predictions of the Old World. But our democracy is driven by the will of the people. And there are significant numbers of people out there who do not like democracy or who like it only when it gives them privileges and denies others equal privileges. They are those who imagine they form some kind of authority that has the right to disenfranchise--the military term is "fuck over"--other people. Such is the case with Referred Law 6 in South Dakota. This law was developed by a sham procedure in one of the most fraudulent processes to ever go through a so-called democratic legislative process. And very few people protested the fraud. That does not give much confidence in democracy.

A huge majority of people agree that some rules have to be established regarding abortion. And most people who identify themselves a pro-choice object to a law whose supporters have even spoken out in favor of the requirement that a child conceived through rape be carried to term.
Such rules, however, have to be built upon real science, not the voodoo-get-them-rosaries-on-the-ovaries fraud pulled upon the people of South Dakota, and built with the rights of women and judgments of physicians protected, and worked out with the knowledge that genuine mutual agreements will be needed.

I do not trust the people to vote for good things in South Dakota. A very significant portion of the electorate could care less about freedom, equality, and justice. They want to feel like the ruling class by interfering with and hurting other people. That is the only thing that gives them a sense of pleasure and well-being. Why do I say that? Because people take Sibson seriously and give him immense amounts of attention. Those same people will go off an insane rage over a legitimate policy agreement that is backed by sound information and rigorous thinking. In tolerating Sibby, a large sector has declared its values. And they are the opposite of what freedom, equality, and justice is supposed to be all about.

South Dakota and the U.S. is quite capable of voting itself out of democracy. George W. Bush has carried us to the edge of the authoritarian abyss.

I have no predictions about what is happening today. I do have contingency plans. At this time in our history, some other countries are operating on American-inspired principles much better than America is. It may be time to move on. Or find ways to reignite the American Revolution. But the stage is better set for angry insurrection that cannot lead to a rejuvenation of democracy. What we did to Iraq we are poised to do to ourselves.

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