Quantcast

Are we witnessing the death of american democracy?

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
12,662
1,429
Hypernormality

Some dude in the WaPo comments section said:
"The founding fathers were not interested in democracy, in fact, in a country with 3 1/4 million people, which is about what we were at the time of the separation from the UK only 700,000 people could vote — white males of property. So it's never been terribly democratic. ...and they put together a constitution which would protect property for all time. No nonsense about democracy!"

Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia" Documentary, 2013

A Constitution that was framed to protect the landed and wealthy of the then original 13 Colonies. Written by the Founding Fathers to ensure such landholdings, in what was to become the USA were then the wealth of the country, would be left in the hands of those already owning such.

An Electoral College which was constituted to give citizens in less populated and economically unproductive rural states with as many as four times the votes as those as those in more populous and economically productive ones, thereby violating the fundamental democratic principle of "one person, one vote;"

It can also be alleged that the college was originally instituted and continues to be maintained for explicitly racist and anti-democratic purposes.

The loser of the popular vote won the electoral college only five times before 2000. The last time happened in the mid 1800s, long before universal franchise. It has now happened twice in 16 years enablin, inarguably, the two worst presidents in modern American history.

A Senate, which until in the early 20th century was not elected, members were selected by whatever group had control of state legislature, to protect the landed and wealthy class, as James Madison, a two term President of the USA, said this concerning the establishment of the US Senate and it was clearly anti democratic, "to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority."*

*Statement (1787-06-26) as quoted in Notes of the Secret Debates of the Federal Convention of 1787 by Robert Yates.
 

Pesqueeb

bicycle in airplane hangar
Feb 2, 2007
35,221
9,688
Riding the baggage carousel.
Last edited:

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
12,662
1,429
Hypernormality
@Pesqueeb What do think this will mean in practice though? I keep thinking about this, remembering where I lived and visited and trying to imagine what it will mean for people’s lives.
 

kidwoo

Artisanal Tweet Curator
Aug 25, 2003
30,533
6,533
The old timey times

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
12,662
1,429
Hypernormality
A thing a local meteorologist chap called Neil Gordon wrote, or posted at least, which, especially the last paragraph — a ‘free market society’ — I thought was a very insightful way of putting it. Unrestrained capitalism, applied to everything, even society itself. It is fundamentally undermining of all the important parts of being a healthy, happy human IMO.

On the other hand, I’m not sure about the Germany comparisons anymore, sure you can probably pick out traits and trends but it is different; a different society in a different age. Anyway:

EAD14796-3A0C-4389-A557-F15ECCA18675.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Pesqueeb

bicycle in airplane hangar
Feb 2, 2007
35,221
9,688
Riding the baggage carousel.
A thing a local meteorologist chap called Neil Gordon wrote, or posted at least, which, especially the last paragraph — a ‘free market society’ — I thought was a very insightful way of putting it. Unrestrained capitalism, applied to everything, even society itself. It is fundamentally undermining of all the important parts of being a healthy, happy human IMO.

On the other hand, I’m not sure about the Germany comparisons anymore, sure you can probably pick out traits and trends but it is different; a different society in a different age. Anyway:

View attachment 170513
All of America? I dunno. That's a pretty broad brush. I sincerely doubt you believe most of us American posters down here in PaWN fall into this category, I assume. Today's GOP? Abso-fucking-lutely.

Trump is the truest republican who ever joined the GOP. A 100% distilled self serving, racist, women hating, con man. He's GOP ethanol.
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
12,662
1,429
Hypernormality
All of America? I dunno. That's a pretty broad brush. I sincerely doubt you believe most of us American posters down here in PaWN fall into this category, I assume. Today's GOP? Abso-fucking-lutely.
Yes, I was going to add such a qualifier; it is of course not all of you — I hope you know that I know and believe that of course. I know lots of very sane and nice Americans including most of you lot. Actually we seem to have an increasing stream of ‘refugees’ over here who seem to arrive shaking their metaphorical heads at what they have left behind.

Two slightly random things:

1) What are good people who remain gonna do? Without seeming hyperbolic your mid-terms are going to be ‘interesting’ at best and right now 2024 looks lost. What will Monkeys and other non-‘delusional fascists’ do? I get the feeling a lot of people feel slightly hopeless about having any ability to affect the direction, but it is ‘your country’. I hope you all are thinking about protest, or even better other civil organising you could join/start. It is always the people who can change things in the end.

2) I note that broad brush you mention is increasingly applied liberally by both sides. It’s a useful rhetorical shorthand but it is, as you point out, incorrect and unhelpful. One of the best legal definitions/identifiers of hate speech is ‘blanket application of a [trait] to an entire race, sex, or demographic’ as it is invariably incorrect and unhelpful, but I see even the progressive left doing it frequently now. One of the symptoms of the fight and increasing polarisation I’m sure but making the issues even worse. I / we / whoever wrote the above should indeed all be careful about how we express that stuff.

Anyway; How you gonna save your democracy, and if you can’t, or don’t believe it can be done, what you gonna do instead? Surely this would be intolerable? I mean a lot of you have kids, and for people like @stoney and @Toshi who have daughters — Sheesh! I can’t even…
 

stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
18,448
3,652
Colorado
Yes, I was going to add such a qualifier; it is of course not all of you — I hope you know that I know and believe that of course. I know lots of very sane and nice Americans including most of you lot. Actually we seem to have an increasing stream of ‘refugees’ over here who seem to arrive shaking their metaphorical heads at what they have left behind.

Two slightly random things:

1) What are good people who remain gonna do? Without seeming hyperbolic your mid-terms are going to be ‘interesting’ at best and right now 2024 looks lost. What will Monkeys and other non-‘delusional fascists’ do? I get the feeling a lot of people feel slightly hopeless about having any ability to affect the direction, but it is ‘your country’. I hope you all are thinking about protest, or even better other civil organising you could join/start. It is always the people who can change things in the end.

2) I note that broad brush you mention is increasingly applied liberally by both sides. It’s a useful rhetorical shorthand but it is, as you point out, incorrect and unhelpful. One of the best legal definitions/identifiers of hate speech is ‘blanket application of a [trait] to an entire race, sex, or demographic’ as it is invariably incorrect and unhelpful, but I see even the progressive left doing it frequently now. One of the symptoms of the fight and increasing polarisation I’m sure but making the issues even worse. I / we / whoever wrote the above should indeed all be careful about how we express that stuff.

Anyway; How you gonna save your democracy, and if you can’t, or don’t believe it can be done, what you gonna do instead? Surely this would be intolerable? I mean a lot of you have kids, and for people like @stoney and @Toshi who have daughters — Sheesh! I can’t even…
As previously discussed, Haley's ready to leave already. She wants the move to NZ, since there is both skiing and MTB, plus the female PM and other women in government have made her feel that's a place that's good for her.

I've debated taking German classes with her, since I spent years learning German and spoke it conversationally with a friend in college. It's been 10+ years since I've spoken it, but taking German lessons would refresh me and get her thinking about a second language while she's young. That would allow for her to have access to Europe as an "out" as well - Germany, Austria, Switzerland - for employment or even schooling destinations.

Hannah's still too young for her own thoughts on this, but realistically, I'll do everything possible for them both to get out of country when they are old enough. If they are out of the US, once our parents die (moreso MIL1), then we have no anchors - we'd likely move to be near them and go ex-pat.
 

6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
10,038
6,854
Yes, I was going to add such a qualifier; it is of course not all of you — I hope you know that I know and believe that of course. I know lots of very sane and nice Americans including most of you lot. Actually we seem to have an increasing stream of ‘refugees’ over here who seem to arrive shaking their metaphorical heads at what they have left behind.

Two slightly random things:

1) What are good people who remain gonna do? Without seeming hyperbolic your mid-terms are going to be ‘interesting’ at best and right now 2024 looks lost. What will Monkeys and other non-‘delusional fascists’ do? I get the feeling a lot of people feel slightly hopeless about having any ability to affect the direction, but it is ‘your country’. I hope you all are thinking about protest, or even better other civil organising you could join/start. It is always the people who can change things in the end.

2) I note that broad brush you mention is increasingly applied liberally by both sides. It’s a useful rhetorical shorthand but it is, as you point out, incorrect and unhelpful. One of the best legal definitions/identifiers of hate speech is ‘blanket application of a [trait] to an entire race, sex, or demographic’ as it is invariably incorrect and unhelpful, but I see even the progressive left doing it frequently now. One of the symptoms of the fight and increasing polarisation I’m sure but making the issues even worse. I / we / whoever wrote the above should indeed all be careful about how we express that stuff.

Anyway; How you gonna save your democracy, and if you can’t, or don’t believe it can be done, what you gonna do instead? Surely this would be intolerable? I mean a lot of you have kids, and for people like @stoney and @Toshi who have daughters — Sheesh! I can’t even…
I don't get to vote or I get to go back to Boris, I didn't know parties weren't allowed during lockdown.

:/
 

DaveW

Space Monkey
Jul 2, 2001
9,587
1,227
Karori, Poneke Te Ika-a-Maui
As previously discussed, Haley's ready to leave already. She wants the move to NZ, since there is both skiing and MTB, plus the female PM and other women in government have made her feel that's a place that's good for her.

I've debated taking German classes with her, since I spent years learning German and spoke it conversationally with a friend in college. It's been 10+ years since I've spoken it, but taking German lessons would refresh me and get her thinking about a second language while she's young. That would allow for her to have access to Europe as an "out" as well - Germany, Austria, Switzerland - for employment or even schooling destinations.

Hannah's still too young for her own thoughts on this, but realistically, I'll do everything possible for them both to get out of country when they are old enough. If they are out of the US, once our parents die (moreso MIL1), then we have no anchors - we'd likely move to be near them and go ex-pat.

Man I would love to go back and live in southern Germany again.
I miss the Schwarzwald. :(