Water Man Spouts

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


{1} "Important elements of democracy existed in the infant American republic of the 1780s, but the republic was not democratic. Nor, in the minds of those who governed it, was it supposed to be. A republic – the res publica, or ‘public thing’ – was meant to secure the common good through the ministrations of the most worthy, enlightened men. A democracy – derived from demos krateo, ‘rule of the people’ – dangerously handed power to the impassioned, unenlightened masses. Democracy, the eminent Federalist political leader George Cabot wrote as late as 1804, was ‘the government of the worst.’ Yet by the 1830s, as Alexis de Tocqueville learned, most Americans proclaimed that their country was a democracy as well as a republic. Enduring arguments had begun over the boundaries of democratic politics. In the 1840s and 1850s, these arguments centered increasingly on slavery and slavery’s expansion and led to the Civil War."
--Sean Wilentz; The Rise of American Democracy; 2005; page xvii

After reading the first two pages of DU:GD-P, I thought it might be worthwhile to remind people that the 2008 election represents another of the historic crossroads in our nation’s history. Our votes will decide which of two directions our country will move in the next four years. The democratic ticket represents the possibilities of restoring our Constitutional democracy; the republican ticket represents a totalitarian corporate republic.

The Bush-Cheney administration has been able to become the most extreme example of an imperial presidency in our nation’s history, because of a weakened balance of powers in the federal government. This includes a broken legislative branch, and a judicial branch which is increasingly inclined to enable the imperial executive.

The next president will appoint people to the federal courts, including the US Supreme Court. Let’s take a quick look at how the republican-appointed justices view "democracy."

{2} "Part of Scalia’s objection to democracy, amplified a year later, was that it got in the way of a return to an eighteenth-century interpretation of the US Constitution. Speaking at the January 2002 Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, he opined that as written in 1787 the Constitution reflected natural or divinely inspired law that the state was an instrument of God. ‘That consensus has been upset,’ he said, ‘by the emergence of democracy.’ He added that ‘the reactions of people of faith to this tendency of democracy to obscure the divine authority behind government should not be resignation to it but resolution to combat it as effectively as possible’."
--Kevin Phillips; American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush; 2004; pages 107-108.

We are at a crossroads, as a nation, as the democratic party, and as individuals. We are either going to elect a democrat, who believes in the power and worth of individuals as Jefferson defined in the Declaration of Independence, or the republicans will elect a man who views us as cogs in a corporate machine.

Our party is finalizing a decision between two strong, capable leaders. Both Senator Clinton and Senator Obama have the support of a solid base of dedicated citizens. But as our party approaches the crossroads, it is evident that we will be nominating Barack Obama.

Finally, as individuals, we are at a personal crossroads. Will we continue to take the low road, and have petty fights, where we look to insult the supporters of the other candidate’s supporters? Or will we take the high road, and make every effort to unite the party?

As a retired social worker, I am aware that our society produces individuals who are often more afraid of their best side, than their worst. Our choice is stark: If we do not work to bring forth our best, we can be assured that the republicans’ worst will prevail.

Think about it.

Thank you,
H2O Man


Post a Comment

<< Home