Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:05 PM
MadHound (34,179 posts)
On liberals and realpolitik in a representative democracy.
Time and again, the message that liberals get is that they need to sit down, shut up, and let the adults take charge. That is a truly insulting and infuriating message on many levels, but perhaps most importantly is that it implies that liberals don't know how realpolitik works in our society.
We live in a representative democracy, and in any such political system, lots of voices are going to be heard from, on the right, left and center. As many political pundits past have noted, it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease in a system such as ours, ie those who make the most commotion are the ones whose issues are most addressed, at least for awhile, until another group comes along who is louder.
Thus, it is perfectly normal for any political group should raise a ruckus, correct? That's exactly what we've seen happen in the past, and the present. Sometimes it takes years or decades of concerted noise making to get your group's issues addressed, but eventually, perhaps for no other reason than to shut that group up for awhile, that group's issues are addressed.
So why should liberals sit down, shut up, and simply take what is given to us? That is a sure recipe for none of our issues getting addressed. In fact, judging by the realpolitik of our government, liberals should actually be louder, more persistent in expressing their views, the better to get their issues addressed. But when liberals do, they are insulted at the highest levels("fucking retarded") or addressed like children("eat your peas"). At best, liberals are simply ignored.
Sometimes, when liberals get upset over a particular issue that has been proposed, such as cutting Social Security benefits, we are told that this is simply a trial balloon, and that we should settle down and shut up. Really?! Excuse me, but that is the purpose of a trial balloon, to gauge public opinion on a particular policy idea. If liberals were to settle down and shut up about a trial balloon, that would give the administration the false impression that nobody opposed it, and thus would feel free to ram it through. The most important thing that anybody, left, right or center, is to make a ruckus when the administration sends up a trial balloon that they don't approve of.
In fact, making a ruckus is how a representative democracy works. If you sit down and shut up, your issues simply won't be addressed. The most foolish thing that one can do in this type of government is to sit down and shut up.
The other way that a group effects policy, and personnel carrying out that policy is our vote. It is the only way that a person in this country can effectively express their approval or disapproval of a particular politician. If you continue to blindly vote for a bad politician, bad policy is going to continue to get made. Our vote is how we hold our politicians accountable, and it should never, ever be taken for granted.
This is the realpolitick of our representative democracy, and don't let anybody tell you otherwise. Your voice and your vote are vital in holding our politicians accountable, and to keep them from making bad policy. Use them wisely, and never, ever, let anybody try to talk you out of using them. Doing so only leads to more bad policy.
50 replies, 6208 views
On liberals and realpolitik in a representative democracy. (Original post)
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Response to MadHound (Original post)
Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:27 PM
DirkGently (10,513 posts)
4. Of course, & well said. "Be realistic" is just lame rhetoric from those with no argument.
It's our JOB as citizens and constituents to complain, to criticize, to in every possible way, put forward what we want and need.
Exhortations to "shut up, because we need 'our' people to enjoy unanimous support" is largely disingenuous, put forward by people with some kind of vested interest, or just simple-minded fury on the part of people who can't understand civilization as anything other than a sporting event, where you "win" if "your" "team" succeeds, regardless of what is or is not actually accomplished.
Leaders make their decisions, at the default level, based on their immediate pressures. Funding, interest groups, etc. Democracy, writ large, doesn't come into play unless people insist on it. Loudly, relentlessly, and where needed, acrimoniously.
Otherwise we're all just impotent hangers on, jeering or cheering and accomplishing nothing in our own actual interests. Which is what some would prefer. Don't understand why anyone with that mindset would even mention "Democratic" as part of their worldview though. It's an infantile approach, and it's always sad to see DU conversation devolve to that level.
If you're not complaining, you're not thinking, and you're not helping. You're working for someone, who knows they can count on your support, and therefore will put your interests at the exact bottom of the pile.
Response to DirkGently (Reply #4)
Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:45 PM
Doctor_J (31,886 posts)
9. As is starkly evident in the contrast between Bush and Obama
Bush was able to enact a far right (nearly fascist) agenda with meager or non-existent majorities in Congress, while Obama was able to do nearly nothing of a populist nature with wide majorities. So "realism" means nothing in this context.
Response to Doctor_J (Reply #9)
Sat Dec 29, 2012, 01:43 PM
Lydia Leftcoast (47,863 posts)
12. You noticed!
The Republicans have never tried to be "realistic," and their agenda gets enacted.
Things that make you go, "Hmmm."
Which side are the supposed "mainstream" Democrats really on?