America in Crisis: Dangerous Flaws in the Structure of Our Government Could Lead to Our Undoing

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America in Crisis: Dangerous Flaws in the Structure of Our Government Could Lead to Our Undoing

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:28 pm

Richard Striner, a professor of history at Washington College, is the author of many books including Father Abraham: Lincoln’s Relentless Struggle to End Slavery and Lincoln’s Way: How Six Great Presidents Created American Power.

Fourth in a series: America in Crisis
If American democracy these days is in crisis, the structure of our government is part of the problem. This goes beyond the issues that have led some foreign observers to describe us a “flawed democracy.” Our system may be democratic in certain respects, but in other ways it is profoundly anti-democratic.

The American Revolution produced a republic that was not a democracy as the term was then understood. A republic is a society that functions through elective institutions — without a monarch. But such a system was not regarded as synonymous with democracy in the days of the Founding Fathers.

Aristotle, in his Politics, argued that power in society can be gathered into only three forms: power in the hands of one person, power in the hands of a few people, or power in the hands of many people. “Monarchy” denoted a system that placed all power in the hands of one; “aristocracy” a system of power in the hands of a few; and “democracy” power in the hands of many. Any one of these systems could become corrupt: monarchy could degenerate into despotism, aristocracy could turn itself into an oligarchy; and democracy could become mob rule.

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Re: America in Crisis: Dangerous Flaws in the Structure of Our Government Could Lead to Our Undoing

Post by Original Quill on Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:59 pm

In all three of them--monarchy, aristocracy and democracy--the system avoids degeneration only by a consensus of the population...that the focus of pride and respect is the nation, and not the people running it.  It's really a very simple formula: what you revere is what gets elevated.

Since the Nixon administration, and the Republican operatives emanating from it, we have seen an allegiance to Republican Party over nation.  The Boehner-McConnell doctrine held that when the opposition is in power, one is dedicated to making the nation fail.  Senate leader McConnel withheld the process of judicial appointment of one appointee up for one year, so that a Republican could appoint the next Supreme Court justice. Republican Trump told the goons causing violence at rallies, he would pay their defense costs. There's no mistaking which party started this.

If one party plays to the subordination of nation over party, then the other must do the same.  A defaulting party dictates that the other must default too, and the system fails.  Republicans, by changing the rules of the game, have destroyed the credibility of the nation.

The US has already failed.  Trust, once breached, cannot be repaired, unless by dedicated effort of the defaulting party.  How many women do you hear saying: once a husband cheats, you've got to leave him!?  Hillary Clinton lost an election because she didn't leave her cheating husband, as eddie on this site can testify.  The Democrats have already lost their role, if they don't abandon bipartisan cooperation in America.  To cooperate with a cheat, is to accept cheating as the norm.

It's as axiomatic as water finding its own level.

“Little thieves are hanged, but great thieves are praised.” — Old Russian proverb, offered by Vladimir Putin to Donald J. Trump, Helsinki, July, 2018.

"I don't stand by anything."  ― Donald Trump, interview with John Dickerson, 5.1.17...

If you can't indict, and you don't impeach, you've got villainy.

“That's libertarians for you — anarchists who want police protection from their slaves.” ― Kim Stanley Robinson, Green Mars
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