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What's most important for us to do in order to protect our democracy?

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Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:46 AM
Original message
Poll question: What's most important for us to do in order to protect our democracy?
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 12:47 AM by BullGooseLoony
I'm not sure about the answer to this question- I have an idea, but I think all sides can be argued.

Obviously, we can't have a legitimate election if votes aren't counted correctly, but it's just as easy for the election to be fixed through media corruption, both by misinforming voters, or possibly even by simply reporting erroneous election results. Similarly, it doesn't even matter who gets elected if they're only going to be beholden to their corporate special interests once they get in office

So what is the most important thing that we must do to protect our democracy?

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:48 AM
Response to Original message
1. as you suggest...
They all go hand-in-hand and can't reasonbly be separated.
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Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:49 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. If you could only do one, though, which would you do? nt
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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:54 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. if forced at knife-point to vote in the poll...
I guess I would choose the media. But those are really just different sides of a nebulous object. (sorry for the awkward phrasing, but I can't find the word that I want.)
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Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #10
16. I tend to agree.
Thank you for just going along with the question, by the way. It's tough to just conduct a straight poll nowadays.

I don't think campaign finance reform is getting enough support, though. I think if one does a good job of isolating the money from the politics, you can almost take the corruption out entirely (while there will still be problems with pork-barrel politics, and mutual back-scratching).
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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:13 AM
Response to Reply #16
22. I agree with you entirely
Perhaps I can persuade you to run for office? :)

Seriously, how do we get the big money out of politics? Neither big party seems to support that aim. Although it is heartening that the Democrats, following Dean's lead, did find greater support this time around from the grassroots type of donor.
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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:49 AM
Response to Original message
2. If we have no vote, we have NO voice.
n/t
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Neoma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:51 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. if we got rid of the fascist media people would know about the machines
& go back to paper
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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:56 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. They're both important, but to get to the media, we have to have the
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 12:58 AM by shance
power of our vote.

Our forefathers didnt have the luxury mass media, but they had a committed American citizenry. What they had was citizenry who were involved in their Democratic government.

We need grassroots to reach out to communities, engage in tabling efforts and passing out fliers, going to local meetings in order to take both our vote and our media back as well.

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Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:58 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. The grassroots are extremely important.
It's the only way to get around the media.

I think of the internet as a form of grassroots politics, BTW.
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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #14
27. I agree BGL.
n/t
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Ron Green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:50 AM
Response to Original message
4. It's all about propaganda. Who controls it sets the course. And our idea
that the truth is on our side must be secondary to our clever manipulation of the masses, because, as has always been the case, the masses can't deal with the truth.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:51 AM
Response to Original message
5. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. LOL uh huh. Those damned socialists, always messing everything up.
From the beginning of our country, right?

Do you even know what socialism is?
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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:57 AM
Response to Reply #5
13. if we had socialism, 90% of the people would be better off
Probably even you.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:04 AM
Response to Reply #13
18. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:07 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. Democracy is not the same thing as capitalism, buddy.
Although Chimy McCokespoon would have you believe otherwise ("We're going to spread democracy to the whole world!" LOL)

Do you know that almost all other developed countries on this Earth are running under a semi-socialist economic system? And guess what? They're still DEMOCRACIES.

They're also doing a helluva lot better than we are right now, as far as economics is concerned.
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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:21 AM
Response to Reply #18
24. bullshit
The democracies of western Europe are much more human-friendly than the current regime in Washington. And I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to stay here and fight the likes of you. You may win, but I will NOT give up without a fight! You've got a fight on your hands, mister. And, by the way, why are you at this particular website?
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:27 AM
Response to Reply #5
25. If you replace the words "fatcat corporations" for "the Workers"...
George Bush is the biggest socialist there is. He's redistributing wealth even as we speak. Well, even as we type.

I believe in capitalism, but not in unfettered capitalism that uses its influence in Washington to game the regulatory system to loot the public trust. Is socialism bad? Well of course. Most forms of government control (as opposed to government regulation and oversight) are bad, whether you're doing it in the name of employees or the bosses.

I believe in responsibility. That's my biggest gripe with Bush. He's so completely irresponsible. He's a blamer and a finger pointer and a truth dodger. Socialism is bad, but it'n not a real danger. Bush's policies are the danger and we have the responsibility of stopping them.
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LynnTheDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:06 AM
Response to Reply #25
30. Why do you believe socialism is "bad"?
What's "bad" about it?
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jojo54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:51 AM
Response to Original message
6. What about holding our C.I.C. accountable for his actions?
That's democracy! We need somebody to give * a good swift kick. I hope he gets impeached 'cause we all know he's a lying, theiving, greedy, insane S.O.B.
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DieboldMustDie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:53 AM
Response to Original message
9. All of the above
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Stand and Fight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Exactly...
And it will take infinitely more than that -- I think a lot of people are scared to acknowledge or face the facts.
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Liberty Belle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:01 AM
Response to Original message
15. If we get rid of rigged machines and have free elections,
We can eventually get good people elected to Congress. Then they can reinstate the fairness doctrine and use anti-monopoly laws to break up the big media conglomerates.

Kerry won or almost won, even with the media stacked against him. It's difficult, but not impossible to get the word out when the main media is biased.

As long as the machines are rigged, however, we could have Phil Donahue and Randi Rhodes on every TV station in America and still lose elections.

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Seldona Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:03 AM
Response to Original message
17. Fix the vote.
There is no Democracy without a fair and transparent voting system.

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dave123williams Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:08 AM
Response to Original message
20. Protect it now that it's dead? Your question doesn't make sense.
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Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:10 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. It can be fixed, in particular if all of those options were
implemented.

Just not very likely, is all. :)
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:14 AM
Response to Original message
23. Give up the hysteria; give up the despair; start doing it in the streets
These options suck. The media isn't fascist, it's corporatist. You can pull out that old Mussolini quote if you like, the bad neighbor's unchained pit bull is still not a velociraptor. Learn the difference.

Quit assuming They are all out to get us. A healthy respect for your opponent's amorality is helpful. Paranoia is not. Learn the difference. This "fascist regime" is not fascist. They've got some real bad authoritarian leanings that will, in the long run and short run, hurt this nation. But they're still the gang that couldn't shoot straight.

Was the election stolen? I still don't know. Bev Harris says some real sensible things, but then goes and acts all marginal about DU.com as if Skinner, Earl, and Elad are part of some conspiracy out to get her. But we know for a fact that voting irregularities took place--some coordinated and well thought thru, others poorly executed.

We'll only fix that system by taking a principled reformist stance that every vote should count. That message will resonate with people, that's an argument we'd win: everyone has a right to have their vote counted. The message we'll lose on is this: the secret cabal of Ohio and Florida election officials and the Gallup Group stole the election by design.

What we need to do is take to the streets, make a noise, keep up the pressure and work the system. The victories will not be sudden and they usually won't be dramatic. Over the middle decades of the 20th century Democrats built up a great nation by believing in gradualism. Take the long view.

There's a balance between "live to fight another day" and "staying pure in face of evil." We should be both pragmatic and idealistic. We should take to the streets and sing the national anthem. We should proclaim universal respect for human rights and point out every time the Republicans disrespect the principles of our founding documents. We should be proactive, and hopeful, and fucking angry. But the heat should be contrained, because the successful message can only be: we can govern better.

Finally, we must purge Red State bashing from our rhetoric. It is offensive to every important feature of Americanism. From Patrick Henry to Ben Franklin to Abe Lincoln to Franklin Roosevelt to Mario Cuomo, the right message has always been "we're hanging together, we're fighting for everyone, especially the little guy."

That's what I'd say.
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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. I generally agree with that, but...
Corporatism and fascism are synonoumous... they are the same thing.
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:23 AM
Response to Reply #26
29. let's test your thesis...
You are the deciding elector in a tied presidential election between two presidential candidacies: On the one hand there's the Donald Trump and Michael Eisner ticket. On the other hand is the Benito Mussolini and Moamar Qaddafi ticket. Do you say...

(a) "I'll vote for Trump-Eisner. They're not my cup of tea, but they're at least sanely responsive to market forces."
or

(b) "It's Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. One ticket's as bad as another and I won't buy into these false choices."

I'd argue this:
Is government kowtowing to business interests instead of representing the public interest bad and corrupt? Sure. Is it the same as actively subverting the Constitution for the sake of power and control alone? No.

Are Bushies authoritarian? Yes. But are they planning death camps for citizens? I see nothing to back that up. I see a dangerous disregard for the consequences of their actions. I see an unhealthy desire to control events and delegitimize opposition. But they are contrained by the democratic process--by market forces. The fact that we don't have troops in Syria and Iran speak to this truth.

Don't get me wrong. If they can get away with it, they will. But they aren't willing to do everything to get away with it. And the bigger part of their motivation is profit, not power. Their disregard for the Constituional protections of civil rights is based on the inconvenience it presents to them controlling things, not on a philosophical difference with the right to vote. They want to return the country to the days of McKinley, not George the 3rd.

Philosophically, you can blur the difference. But in pragmatic matters, it's more important to recognize these differences.

But the bigger point I want to make is this. If you stick to the line that "Republicans are fascists" you'll sound stupid and lose the swingable voters. That's a far worse crime that just sitting on your hands while the Constutition is subverted.
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LynnTheDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:10 AM
Response to Reply #29
31. Most Republicans ARE fascists.
If that "sounds stupid" to someone, then it's because that someone is ignorant of the facts.

bush is a fascist. Fact.

And if we actually had a real live balanced media in this country, most Americans would be very well aware of that fact.

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Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:11 AM
Response to Reply #29
33. I had a more detailed post, but it got erased
and I'm not writing the whole damned thing again.

But, basically, the Bush administration are fascists. They have fascist social policies as a result of the Lee Atwater strategy that they use to steal money from people.

The difference between Trump and Eisner and your historical fascists is that Trump and Eisner are businessmen, not politicians. When corporatism injects itself into politics, what you get is fascism.
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LynnTheDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:12 AM
Response to Reply #33
34. Would have loved to read your lost post, but this one
hits the target perfectly. Well said!
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LynnTheDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:11 AM
Response to Reply #26
32. By definition they're the same.
Too bad more Americans don't know the definition of fascism. But then, the rightwingnuts would just chant on about how great fascism is. :eyes:
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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:44 AM
Response to Reply #23
28. Great points Bucky.
Thanks.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #23
35. Clear and proper use of words is important
Once we start bending the meaning of words (torture = "soliciting information") we are in trouble.

These options suck. The media isn't fascist, it's corporatist. You can pull out that old Mussolini quote if you like, the bad neighbor's unchained pit bull is still not a velociraptor. Learn the difference.
As Mussolini founded fascism, I believe he gets to decide what the word means. He said fascism = corporatism. Since the government is now PAYING the media to spread propaganda, the MSM is now actively embracing fascism in all of its facets.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

Besides totalitarianism, a key distinguishing feature of fascism is that it uses a rightist mass movement to attack the organizations of the working class: parties of the left and trade unions. This strategy is variously called Corporatism, Corporativism, or the Corporative State <1> (http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/bus/A0813636.html ), all terms that refer to state action to partner with key business leaders, often in ways chosen to minimize the power of labor unions. Mussolini, for example, capitalized on fear of an imminent Socialist revolution <2> (http://www.thecorner.org/hists/total/f-italy.htm ), finding ways to unite Labor and Capital, to Labor's ultimate detriment. In 1926 he created the National Council of Corporations, divided into guilds of employers and employees, tasked with managing 22 sectors of the economy. The guilds subsumed both labor unions and management, but were heavily weighted in favor of the corporations and their owners. The moneyed classes in return helped him change the country's laws to raise his stature from a coalition leader to a supreme commander.
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