Sometimes I can really get down to that deep thinking. I mean the pure foundational stuff. I think what Will said above is foundational stuff for a democracy. We elect our presidents and all the other people’s representative and then go home and dare them to get it right! This worked pretty well for the first two centuries of our existence. There were a few duds during that period but generally the people we elected at least tried to “make good”.
But something in the process seems to have broken as we entered the 21st century.
- Maybe it got broken because we have done something that prevents the really good guys/gals to come forward to “live up to the dare”? — Being a guy that has done some pretty serious studying of history I can see that the political processes we have now is pretty raunchy. It has been bad in the past but never to the extreme as now. I can’t see where anyone would want to put themselves through the process of becoming one of our political leaders. Have we just ground out the civility in seeking elected office so that only the “pretenders” with hyper-inflated egos will even attempt to endure our election process?
- Maybe it is got broken because the people doing the choosing got lazy? — Being a representative democracy is tough stuff. It takes work to choose the right leaders. Maybe we have just become too lazy in choosing our leaders. We don’t do our homework any more to try to wean the pretenders and wannabes from the crowd. We fall victims to 30 second sound bites instead of studying the issues. Maybe we are just too lazy to maintain a democracy anymore?
- Maybe it got broken because of all the money that corrupts the process? — When the Supreme Court decided that corporations are people and they should have free exercise in buying the candidates and elected officials we started down a road with no return. When we as individuals must compete with $trillion corporations it is pretty easy to figure out who is going to come out ahead. Maybe we have sold our democracy to corporate and elitist greed?
- Maybe it go broken because we have outlived the positive aspects of a capitalist society? — This one gets really deep! I don’t want to blow a gasket in my brain so will only touch the surface. Our capitalistic society is based on greed. That is not a bad when there are checks and balances to add in a moralistic factor. Pure capitalism just doesn’t have any compassion for anything but profits. Everything else is a very distant second if it is even considered. This type of greed was also pretty dominant about 100 years ago but it was stomped down by hard-fought unions and a Republican President named Roosevelt. But, even compared to that time the moralist factor seems to have died out in the 21st century. Our society seem to have devolved down into the survival of the fittest mentality. Another way of saying that is “I got mine so screw you!!” We just seem to have lost the compassion for our fellow-man any more and no one seems to be able to rescue it. Are we finally succumbing to the dark side of capitalism?
To wrap this up it is probably a combination of all of the above. I just hope that we can come back from the edge of the cliff once again but I have my doubts this time around.
But what do I know…..