Where Did Our Democracy Go?

Saint Reagan decrees that government is the problem, and Republicans spend the next thirty years destroying it to the best of their abilities, shredding protections for people and environment alike, building laws that funnel more and more money to the top earners while making everyone else worse off. Democracy at its finest.

George W. mounts an unnecessary war in Afghanistan, when the goal should have been simply to capture bin Laden. Then when bin Laden is cornered, he suddenly loses interest and redirects the entire multi-billion dollar operation to Iraq, in pursuit of a goal for which there is no evidence. In the process, he squanders all of the worldwide goodwill that followed the 9/11 attacks, kills hundreds of thousands of people, demolishes the moral reputation of the US with secret and extra-legal prisons and torture, piles a couple trillion dollars on top of the national debt, and tops Reagan’s historic transfer of wealth to the very rich. Democracy at its finest.

We go to the polls and vote for the ones we want to represent us in Congress. They are compelled to seek funding for their re-election, much of which comes from the rich, who expect something in return. Lobbyists let them know what it is. Democracy at its finest.

Appointments to the Supreme Court are for a lifetime for a reason, to allow them to decide an issue on its merits alone, not on whether it represents the interests of one political party or another. But most of the significant votes are split strictly on party lines, and since the majority represent conservative interests, we have such patently ridiculous decisions as their ruling that corporations are actually people, and therefore their owners are allowed to secretly swamp election funding. Democracy at its finest.

The Koch boys use their billions to have legislation written to their specifications. The completed legislation is presented to their pet legislators, often in state governments, who submit it unchanged to their legislature. It often is accepted into law with little debate, if conservatives are dominant. Democracy at its finest.

A bunch of people are sick of it all. They move in on Wall Street, the Kali-destroyer of not only the American economy but the economy of the entire world. Millions upon millions of Americans get it, and the movement spreads to six hundred other sites around the country, plus a hundred more around the world. The movement is strictly non-violent, has no leaders, no dismissible list of demands, and accepts even the down and out. Cities begin to mobilize the riot cops, with their pepper spray and rubber truncheons. They lock out the independent journalists so we won’t see what they are doing. Whether the FBI, Homeland Security (Don’t you love the Nazi ring that has?), and other units are involved is unanswered. The rich establishment denigrates Occupy, calling them spoiled, dirty, criminal, childish, old hippies, young criminals, whatever. But the sites remain. People move their money out of Big Banks, and become increasingly devoted to the movement, because they get it. They know there must be change, real change, if the American experiment is to survive. This is democracy at its finest.

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