Can We Make Our Democracy Work?
In the last TCL I said that I was considering building on the material in that TCL to produce a book. First I want to thank all of you who took the time to read that ‘tome’ and much bigger thanks to those of you that replied or commented on it. You guys are great!
In fact those comments, in spite of many of them that encouraged me to go on, have persuaded me to drop the book project. Basically it comes down to the fact my prescriptions for fixing our Democracy, is a list of several broad and deep issues that, under any approach, will take a long, long time to make any headway on.
So, thanks anyway.
But, What About November 2012?
I have come to believe that this next presidential election just might be the most important in the last 50 years or more. And, even though the Republican party has lost its mind, alienating women, the men who have sex with women, Latinos, and union supporters, I think they have a chance to win. Even though, the majority of the American people appear to be firmly behind Obama and the Democrats, the Republicans in state houses all over the country have redistricted, and passed voter registration laws that disenfranchise mostly Democratic voters. Remember the American people did not elect George W. Bush in 2000.
Republicans Are In the Process of Overthrowing Our Government
And I am terrified! Does that make them a "Terrorist organization" and their donors "terrorism supporters" under the PATRIOT Act?
The “Tea Party” has taken control of the Republican Party. Any Republican who is not an extremist is opposed and driven out during the primaries.
Republicans have changed the Supreme Court. The politicization of the Court appointed George W. Bush to the presidency in 2000. They have cemented the concept of corporations as people. They just invalidated the 4th Amendment. They ruled, 5 to 4 of course, that a man who was arrested for a crime, for which he was innocent, taken to jail, strip searched and shuffled off to another jail, strip searched again and not released for 6 days. Not only was he innocent, at the time of his arrest, he showed the arresting officers a letter from the state asserting his innocence (which was only a misdemeanor offense not punishable by confinement had he been guilty).
We have lost the right of habeas corpus to the PATRIOT Act, and even Democrats are unwilling to rescind it, because they know that if they protect us from indeterminate incarceration, they will vilified for “ being soft on Terrorism.”
Benton Harbor and several other cities in Michigan have been taken over by a new law allowing the Governor to invalidate any and all elections of local government and turning full autocratic, dictatorial power to a “Manager” appointed by the Governor. Detroit may the next city in Michigan to go under to this usurpation of power.
Other states have passed similar dictatorship laws and others may follow.
Wisconsin has essentially begun the destruction of labor unions. I believe that a very convincing argument can be made that the amazing development of the US during the 25 years from 1945 to 1970, can largely be attributed to the maturation of the labor movement in this country. Unions raised the income of what we now call the 99%. That not only helps 99% of us, but also the top 1%. This is bubble-up economics. It has been proven to work and trickle-down has failed miserably.
What to Do?
The items I cited above are just a small but representative sample of the intentions of the Tea Party dominated Republican Party. Imagine, if you will, a Supreme Court with 8 or even 9 extreme conservatives.
We must not get overconfident. The Republicans may have chased independents and even moderate Republicans away, but we must recognize that they probably will have disenfranchised millions of voters who would have voted against them.
We must get out the vote! We must register as many new voters as we can. We must vote!