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Wed Aug 14, 2013, 12:46 PM

Democracy is Dead.

I don't know what we have in America but it doesn't feel like democracy.

In New Jersey yesterday, a very important primary election for who will be the next US Senator only garnered 9% of the voters to the poll. A democracy cannot function if the people do not vote. Nine percent of the voters is not the voice of the people.

In Colorado, we have a small clique of NRA supporters and their friends who are busy recalling a State Senator whom the people voted for in the last election. There are all kinds of under-handed political shenanigans taking place. It is not a democratic process, by any means.

In North Carolina, the Governor and right-wing politicians have overtly decided to restrict people from voting by any means necessary. They don't want them to register to vote in the future. They do not want people to vote if they might vote against their agenda. This is not a democracy.

In the people's House of Representatives, the Leader has decided that nothing will be voted on unless the majority of his own right-wing support it. It simply will not be brought to the floor. If the Democratic Party majority in the Senate attempts to pass any legislation, the minority filibusters and blocks everything. Nothing is working. This is not a democracy.

The interests of the people of this country are no longer being served by our elected representatives. Those now in power are bought off by special interests and do not even feign support for the vast majority they are supposed to represent.

These crooked politicians have been able to divide the people by means of political Parties. It doesn't matter what they stand for or what they believe. The people support them simply because they have an "R" or a "D" by their name. Their loyalties cannot be penetrated.

It is not that much different than when our forefathers declared independence from the British tyranny. We are no longer being represented by our government. From the top to the bottom, the government represents special interests that further their own power and wealth.

What can the people do? We can continue to support the same people and policies that got us to where we are or we can declare our independence. We have slept while our democracy died.

29 replies, 1697 views

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Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
Reply Democracy is Dead. (Original post)
kentuck Aug 2013 OP
factsarenotfair Aug 2013 #1
WilliamPitt Aug 2013 #2
RobertEarl Aug 2013 #8
n2doc Aug 2013 #3
totodeinhere Aug 2013 #20
adieu Aug 2013 #22
n2doc Aug 2013 #23
Scuba Aug 2013 #4
AZ Progressive Aug 2013 #10
kentuck Aug 2013 #11
RZM Aug 2013 #5
arely staircase Aug 2013 #6
great white snark Aug 2013 #7
kelliekat44 Aug 2013 #9
FarCenter Aug 2013 #12
totodeinhere Aug 2013 #21
hfojvt Aug 2013 #28
FarCenter Aug 2013 #29
ut oh Aug 2013 #13
leftstreet Aug 2013 #14
MisterP Aug 2013 #15
MineralMan Aug 2013 #16
kentuck Aug 2013 #24
Demo_Chris Aug 2013 #17
Tierra_y_Libertad Aug 2013 #18
cali Aug 2013 #19
kentuck Aug 2013 #25
struggle4progress Aug 2013 #26
raouldukelives Aug 2013 #27

Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 01:18 PM

1. It seems to me that people don't want to be bothered to govern themselves until there's a crisis.

And, of course, by that time it would probably be too late.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 01:19 PM

2. Again?

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #2)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 01:23 PM

8. Zombiemocrats Rule!



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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 01:19 PM

3. 9% is horrendous

Elections should be held, as much as possible, on standardized dates. Christie planned this one to be as obscure as he could so his buddy Booker would have an easy win.

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Response to n2doc (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 03:47 PM

20. I agree that it should be made a lot more convenient to vote. Of course in a lot of states

controlled by the Republicans they are going in the opposite direction. But 9%? Come on. No matter what date the election was held more than that should have come out.

And what scares me is that one reason for the low turnout might be apathy and cynicism or the belief that it doesn't do any good to vote because it doesn't make any difference whom you vote for. They are all owned by the 1% anyway.

If that attitude prevails on election day in 2014 we might very well be in a world of hurt because there is one thing you can say about right wing nut cases. They do tend to come out and vote. And we can't afford a Republican victory in those elections.

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Response to n2doc (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 04:03 PM

22. Booker is not his buddy

Booker was a potential competitor to Christie for the governorship. I think Booker should throw a wrench into things by, after winning the primary for the senate seat that used to be held by Lautenberg, he will relinquish the primary win to the next best capable candidate and then go mano-a-mano against Christie for governorship. Take that fat-fuck down.

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Response to adieu (Reply #22)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 05:24 PM

23. Au contrare

Booker’s Opponents May Use His Friendship With Christie Against Him




By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ
Published: July 4, 2013

He has urged Gov. Chris Christie’s daughter to attend his alma mater, Stanford University, and even offered to write her a letter of recommendation.

He has been a guest at the governor’s state-owned beach house and once spent time backstage with the governor’s wife and children after a Taylor Swift concert.

He even introduced Mr. Christie to his new friend, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, who has since raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the governor.

For years, Cory Booker, the celebrity mayor of Newark, has been an unlikely supporter, ally and even friend of Mr. Christie, the only New Jersey politician with a national following to rival his own.

By most accounts, the relationship between Mr. Christie, a Republican, and Mr. Booker, a Democrat, is based on genuine fondness, as well as an admiration they have for the talents that have made them stars in their respective parties.

more

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/05/nyregion/bookers-opponents-may-use-his-friendship-with-christie-against-him.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 01:20 PM

4. Here in Wisconsin we're arresting people for exercising their 1st Amendment Rights in the Capitol.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #4)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 01:41 PM

10. In Modern America, you don't have rights unless you fight for them in a courtroom

And thus the Constitution only matters in the Courtroom, it won't prevent you from being arrested and even charged in the first place.

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Response to AZ Progressive (Reply #10)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 01:46 PM

11. Look how long it took a judge to rule on "Stop and Frisk" in NYC.

as an example.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 01:20 PM

5. But apparently Joe Kennedy is not n/t

 

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 01:21 PM

6. want to see paathetic?

check out the turnout for school board elections.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 01:22 PM

7. Please finally tell us what you really want.

Come on, change takes bravery. Don't be afraid of getting banned from a little DEMOCRATIC forum.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 01:26 PM

9. Maybe we should have mandatory voting? No benefits without proof of voting in

last election. That would take care of voter suppression and reduce the deficit at the same time. All kinds of support for the disabled to vote, and for the poor to get registered and vote. No need for mass voter registration drives etc. Voter education should begin in third grade and be required for graduation from any school. CEOs who didn't ensure that their employees registered and voted would not be able to get any bonuses. People could freely decide not to vote but would lose all governmental benefits and subsidies. There!! Done!

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 02:03 PM

12. Republicans voted even less than Democrats.

U.S. SENATE (DEMOCRATIC)

Cory Booker – WINNER - 207,891

Rush Holt - 59,922

Sheila Oliver - 14,996

Frank Pallone - 69,311

U.S. SENATE (REPUBLICAN)

Alieta Eck - 25,009

Steve Lonegan – WINNER - 99,265

98% of Precincts reporting.


The only surprise was that Holt ran somewhat stronger than the polls indicated.

But since the voting was fairly well predicted by the polling, its not clear that there would be any difference if 100% of registered voters had voted.

I guess you don't believe that the pollsters know how to do statistical sampling correctly?

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #12)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 03:51 PM

21. One reason for the low turnout among the Republicans is that it is pretty much a

foregone conclusion that Booker will win the general election in a landslide.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #12)

Thu Aug 15, 2013, 11:31 AM

28. one thing that might have happened

is that Pallone could have won

Pallone took 20% of the primary vote.

In the 2012 election Menendez won with 1.9 million votes. Assume just 60% of those votes came from registered Democrats. That makes for a potential of 1.19 million primary voters. If 20% of them support Pallone that is 238,000 potential Pallone voters.

That's enough for Pallone to win, if all his supporters had decided to actually vote when they had the opportunity.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #28)

Thu Aug 15, 2013, 09:17 PM

29. The Pallone campaign's phone calls were annoyingly frequent

There were multiple calls per day.

What would have caused Pallone supporters to come out but Booker, Holt and Oliver supporters to stay home?

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 03:13 PM

13. Publicly funded elections

would be a huge benefit to the people (IF it could ever be passed). Reversing Citizens United....

There are people, I bet, who would run, but simply do not have the financial resources to do so.

I don't think democracy has died, but it certainly is dysfunctional in a lot of ways right now.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 03:14 PM

14. Politicians have failed us n/t

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #14)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 03:19 PM

15. and the surest way you can tell is that their flunkies say all the problems are solely because

we've failed them

"After the uprising of the 17th of June
The Secretary of the Writers' Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?"

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 03:25 PM

16. What can the people do? How about turning out to vote?

If they can't be bothered, then they aren't participants. I can't say I concern myself much with those who will not go to the polls and participate in their representative republic.

On the other hand, the low turnout in primaries is a great opportunity for activism. By turning out people, a small group can help get their candidates into the general election. It can be looked at either way, as a failure or an opportunity.

GOTV 2014! In the Primaries, too!

Those who participate decide.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #16)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 06:08 PM

24. Good point, Mineral Man.

IF someone can get that small group to the polls. But that does not solve all the other problems we are now facing, such as voter disenfranchisement or gridlock in our legislative bodies.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 03:25 PM

17. When the choice is between the Big Mac or the Whopper no one is excited to dine...

 

An ever increasing number of people have come to the sad realization that, with the exception of social conservative issues, there is no substansize difference between the two parties. Both parties are employed by the exact same people and corporations and do exactly what they are told. Any enthusiasm President Obama generated has long since turned to a feeling of disgust -- not with him personally, as he is recognized as being just another servant of the elite -- but with themselves for falling for it once again.

It's hard to get people to the poles in any case, harder still when they are being asked to vote against something rather than for it, and virtually impossible when they are being tasked with voting for nothing at all other than a now meaningless letter next to some millionaire's name.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 03:32 PM

18. George Washington had this to say about parties (factions) and politicians.

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/washing.asp

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 03:34 PM

19. Moribund, but not fully dead

How about NYC where a real live Progressive is now leading in the latest poll?

And what about MA?

And in Vermont, Progressive politics is the mainstream by a long shot.

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Response to cali (Reply #19)

Wed Aug 14, 2013, 06:12 PM

25. I wish I were not so cynical...

But once we elect these few progressives, what then? They are only shuffled into the deck and played as a joker in the game.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Aug 15, 2013, 03:34 AM

26. People don't vote in off-year primaries. For the last 20 years in my town, the average is about 12%

2011 ~ 09%
2009 ~ 04%
2007 ~ 11%
2005 ~ 11%
2003 ~ 16%
2001 ~ 12%
1999 ~ 16%
1997 ~ 14%
1995 ~ 15%
1993 ~ 11%

AVER ~ 12%

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Aug 15, 2013, 11:07 AM

27. Corporate States of America.

We know what the problem is. All that corporate cash. All the unchecked power allowed to purchase special favors for themselves over and over until we have Wall St Shangri-La.
I almost feel like politicians are given the green light by CEO's and hedge fund managers before they are allowed coverage on the media outlets they control.
But that is probably just crazy talk.
If that were the case, if that was the problem, then the most important vote one could make is with money. Money gives them the power to change the rules, money gives the investor a share of the spoils, its a win-win for them. A total loss for American Democracy.

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