Tuesday, December 28, 2004

What about defending democracy at home?

The New York Times > Opinion > Editorial: The Vote Count Goes On

This quote from a Dec 24th New York Times says is all:

A State Supreme Court justice in Washington State, Susan Owens, put it best when she addressed Republican attempts to disallow more than 700 uncounted ballots in the photo-finish governor's race there. "You're looking at it from the point of view of the winner or the loser," she said. "Shouldn't we be looking at it from the point of view of the voter?"

I can think of dozens of things that aggravate me about American politics --and there are offenders at every point on the political compass. But the abscence of any real appreciation for democracy and the democratic process has become a defining characteristic of party politics. Democracy isn't respected, it's manipulated.

We have a multi-party (there are more than two, after all) system because no single perspective can have all the answers. But the American political system has evolved into a truly scary practice that relies on demonization rather than debate, on propoganda rather than public discourse. Politicians don't care what you think, only about what they can make you think. They can't stop talking long enough to listen to what anyone has to say.

Compromise is product of wisdom, not weakness. Only a fool, a dangerous and small-minded fool, thinks he/she has all the answers all the time. That's why libraries have more than one book.

1 comment:

Eric Berlin said...

I've been struggling with this issue for a while, asking myself: have things always been this bad, is it because the recent "50/50" nation/polarization at the polls, or have I only started noticing all of this only of late?

When I see these stories, I can't help thinking about the Fall of Rome for some reason: hubris, corruption, empire... maybe I'm just being dramatic after midnight on a dreary (for southern Cali) Pasadena's eve?

~ Eric B.