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Re: Asking about the suitability of a concept
Posted by: koikaze (IP Logged)
Date: September 23, 2007 08:02AM

Good Morning, Bruce

The first thing I want to say is "Thank You" for the speed with which you came up with the idea of merging the efforts of WDDM with those of myverdict.net. I hope to encourage others to join us. At the risk of seeming elitist, I'll not be surprised if the WDDM site appeals to the thoughtful advocates of concepts meant to strengthen the infrastructure of democratic government while the myverdict site appeals to practitioners of democracy.

The second thing I want to say is that, in response to your question, I'm a proud American. Not a deaf, dumb and blind American, but a proud American, nonetheless. My country, when it was founded, was called The Noble Experiment because many did not believe a nation founded on democratic principles could survive.

We survived, but the cancer insinuated into our political processes within twenty years of our founding has grown to the point it threatens to destroy us. It is worth noting that the risk of that cancer was recognized by those who drafted our Constitution and we were warned against it by our first President. Unfortunately, neither was able to prevent it. Even now, as far as I can tell, the vast majority of my countrymen, although they complain mightily about the symptoms that plague them, seem unaware of the cause of the disease.

Not only am I an American, Bruce, I'm a resident of the State of New Jersey, a state where the legislature is under federal investigation for corruption, a state where a banker proclaims that nothing moves in New Jersey politics without his blessing, a state where 11 mayors were indicted for corruption within the past couple of weeks, a state where ... Oh, the litany is boring ... I'll just say, a state where the bitter fruits of party politics litter the landscape.

Others may hypothesize about the ultimate triumph of good over evil. I know, from harsh experience, that, for good to triumph, it needs an environment that demands it. Creating such an environment is non-trivial.

Re: "I prefer 'democracy' to mean governing by the people."

Not only do I agree with that sentiment, I consider it to be fundamental. If there's a difference in our opinions (and I'm not at all sure there is one), it starts to appear in your next assertion:

"This means the people have the first say and the last."

While I agree with this sentiment in a general way, I believe it is modified to some extent by the delegation of authority and responsibility to representatives of the people. As I've said, and I believe you agreed, "The delegation of authority is an essential part of democracy." For this reason, the integrity of those who represent us is critical and must be the primary object of our electoral process.

By way of example, I'd like to mention the events that transpired in the United States in 2002. Our nation was inundated with reports of dire threats to our well-being in the form of Weapons of Mass Destruction. I could not believe our susceptibility to such an incredible flood of propaganda, and on August 13th, 2002, I was moved to write:

"Am I alone?

I read that we (Americans) are preparing to invade Iraq. I see it referred to on these boards. But nowhere do I see a sign of outrage that our "leaders" would undertake such a horribly aggressive, destructive act.

Do people really believe this nonsense about fighting terrorism? I fear we are living proof of Adolf Hitler's assertion in Mein Kampf that "The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one." or, as Isaac Singer said in "Yentl, the Yeshiva Boy", "It is a general rule that when the grain of truth cannot be found, men will swallow great helpings of falsehood."

The event of September 11th, 2001 was one of the worst that has occurred during my lifetime. It ranks right up there with the fire bombing of Hamburg, the obliteration of Nagasaki, the tragedy of the Munich Games, the car bombings in London, the firestorm in Tokyo, the bus bombings in Israel, the terror in Northern Ireland. Do you imagine that horror and death are less painful if they occur outside the U. S.?

The planned invasion of Iraq has nothing to do with terrorism. It is an effort to gain control of a major source of oil. It is a commercial enterprise; it has nothing to do with "right" or "justice". The use of 9/11 as a pretext to put troops in position in Afghanistan, and to justify attacking Iraq, illustrates the terrible cynicism of those who have taken control of our nation.

I fear my view is not commonly shared, and I'm sure it will bring a boatload of invective down on me. That's too bad. I've been a proud American for a long time. I learned of our country's virtues in a one-room schoolhouse. It sickens me to see them trampled like this.


In this case, the public was stampeded into supporting our nation's invasion of a sovereign nation. It is my opinion (for which I have no supporting proof) that representatives selected for their persuasiveness, intelligence and integrity would not have been as easily hoodwinked. However, to prevent the invasion, they would have had to go contrary to the (then) will of the people, and I believe they would have been justified in doing so.

Stated another way, I believe the selection of principled representatives is the cornerstone of true democracy.

At this point, it is imperative that I state my agreement with, and support for, your opposition to "The King and his Men concept". Many see the current adminstration in the U. S. as an example of this concept. My only disagreement is that I see it more as a screaming example of the way partisan politics is able to make an end-run around the Separation Of Powers built into our Constitution. As I said in an earlier post:

"Political parties persistently attack the Separation of Powers. They use their immense resources to maximize their power by forcing our public officials to vote en bloc on crucial issues, making a mockery of the safeguards we rely on to protect our freedoms. When a single group of people with a common interest succeeds in controlling multiple branches of our government, it is ludicrous to imagine we have a system of checks and balances."

None of what I've written here should be taken to mean I oppose Initiative and Binding Referendum. I&BR is, and must always be, a fundamental right of the people. Opinions, including public opinion, are, by their nature, reactive. One tends not to have an opinion about a person or event until the person acts or the event occurs. Thus, even with the most careful selection of representatives, the people need a mechanism by which they can repair errors to prevent them from spawning tragedy.


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Subject Views Written By Posted
  Asking about the suitability of a concept 1088 koikaze 09/04/2007 05:44AM
  Re: Asking about the suitability of a concept 470 BrEggum 09/21/2007 10:38PM
  Re: Asking about the suitability of a concept 501 koikaze 09/23/2007 08:02AM
  Re: Asking about the suitability of a concept 436 BrEggum 09/23/2007 10:41AM
  Re: Asking about the suitability of a concept 483 koikaze 09/24/2007 05:28PM
  Re: Asking about the suitability of a concept 506 WebMaster 09/04/2007 06:39PM
  Re: Asking about the suitability of a concept 520 koikaze 09/06/2007 05:20AM
  Re: Asking about the suitability of a concept 470 BrEggum 09/20/2007 03:16PM
  Re: Asking about the suitability of a concept 434 koikaze 09/21/2007 12:21PM

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