Has Democracy Failed Us?

Not for the first time in my life, I look out upon a nation filled with people who believe that our democratic system has failed us, big time, in the most recent presidential election. But can we really say that it did, even assuming the vote was fairly counted? No, but I think that determining the legitimacy of an election based on a fair counting of numbers is rather missing the point.

If a fair counting of votes were all that it took to ensure that an election outcome was truly in the best interests of the nation, then why do so many people believe our country is spiraling down the same tube that has swallowed up so many of the supposed “great” nation-states of the past? If a system where every citizen got an equal vote, again, assuming a fair count, on important matters was all it took to make sure a nation was headed in the “right” direction, then why have the attempts, by the so-called “free and democratic” nations of the west, to introduce such systems to places like Iraq and Afghanistan failed so badly?

Now, I know that asking such a question, of my readers at least, will no doubt result in the same answers I came up with: a people who’s conscience is controlled by traditional thinking, rather than well-reasoned, fact-based analysis, simply aren’t equipped to make choices that are in their long-term best interests. In fact, and as hard as it is for someone like me to say, the only kind of “stability” people who think that way have ever known is that which was imposed on them by tyrants and dictators. In other words, removing the “bad guys” from power was destined from the start to just make matters worse.

The truth is that, even in a country as “advanced” as our own, we all too quickly try to answer such questions using a reasoning process that’s every bit as “primitive” as that used by those we look down upon: rather than considering what is truly in our country’s long-term best interests, we, based on our on individual fears and prejudices, simply choose to align ourselves with whatever political faction (i.e., “tribe”) with proposals that seem to meet our own range-of-the-immediate-moment needs.

Okay, this is getting a bit long-winded (in direct violation of the point I’m trying to make), so I’ll try to get down to it a little more quickly: in our attempts to figure out why democracy seems so broken, we consistently ignore what has to be the best principle for thought self-regulation humanity has ever devised:

the-kiss-principle

Now, applying that principle, let’s assume that those were your important life choices on the ballot. Who you should love, for example. Now tell me, just who the hell would you consider “qualified” to cast a vote?

Consider the following video that I found on the Open Culture site:

Now I ask you, how many of the elections that you’ve witnessed in your lifetime have produced results appearing to have arisen from the efforts of a “highly skilled” electorate? None, in my opinion. Even when I found the results acceptable, I couldn’t honestly attribute those results to anything more that mere dumb luck. I don’t know about you, but when I honestly assess my own skills at making such monumental decisions, I’m having a hard time blaming election results I don’t like on anything but the ignorance and laziness (including my own) of “we the people.” Hell, I can’t even blame those who took, and are still taking, advantage of the opportunities our ignorance and laziness have provided them. After all, this is the land of opportunity, isn’t it?

I maintain my belief that democracy is the best system ever devised for freeing mankind to achieve its potential to become the wise and peaceful beings we all claim to be deep down. So, perhaps asking if our democracy has failed us is looking at the problem from the wrong end. Maybe we should be asking ourselves, instead, if is we who have failed our democracy

I STILL want ice water.

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7 thoughts on “Has Democracy Failed Us?

  1. I like your rethoric thinking. We had similar cases in Sweden with one of our far right parties gaining massively with quick fixes promises which does appeal to us but does not solve the problem long term. And also in our case the other parties were more concerned with debunking the other party instead of giving their option. Same with Trump, a lot of time was spent giving him more airtime and more chance for his name and opinions stuck to voters mind. Love democracy and at this moment we will just have to wait and see what kind of president he will become. But for god sake remove that fucking twitter from him.. hilarious at it is to see his tweets it’s a disgrace to the numerous uno of a country.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s true that democracies the world over are failing to live up to the original concept it was based on. As for Trump and his Twitter babbles, considering the veritable army of people he’s got coming along behind him to “reinterpret” his statements and the fact that he has consistently, since well before the election, refused to expose himself to the harsh light of any kind press conference, I’m hoping that he’ll keep Twittering away so we won’t forget what a braying jackass he really is. Besides, they really are one of the best sources of “grin and bear it” humor around! 😱

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you have a good point here. It appears that maybe we (some of us, anyway) have failed democracy by electing someone not even remotely qualified or apparently interested in the longterm best interests of the country (rather than his own wealth and ego). It’s possible that the weight of the office, combined with the influence of more experienced politicians, may yet produce a reasonable outcome for the nation, but meanwhile I’m crossing my fingers and holding my breath — not the most comfortable way to live.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m also hopeful that the reality of the situation will set in and lead to a better outcome than what I, and a lot of others, have envisioned. Then again, that kind of thinking reminds me of a song – a song that just happens to have been put to such good use in a video I’ve been wanting to post…

      Too bad there are no actual superheroes to save us in the event the worst does come to pass… 😱

      Like

  3. Not sure I agree completely — though I always love that you make me think. I think we’re in a “human-esque” monumental shift. There is something bigger happening. I’m not saying it’s a good thing, but if you look at all parts of society — how we talk to each other, how we actually DONT communicate with all this “technology”, how people are supposedly angry all the time, how everyone is unsatisfied…. I feel like there is something going on. The irony is, WE, the American people actually didn’t vote in Trump. Hillary did win the popular vote by a ridiculous amount — but our system of electing people has made Trump President. But my question really is, how did the Republican party nominate him the first place? I mean, it’s pretty odd, isn’t it? Beside the fact that he’s a buffoon, he’s thoroughly incompetent. I don’t know, maybe I do agree with you a bit, but honestly, I feel like an outside observer watching something baffling happening to my country, to my world and worse, I feel helpless to deal with it.

    Sorry for my long-winded comment.. I STILL want ice water too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your comments are always welcome Carmen, and I should be the last person to accuse another of being long winded. Ironically, I think the Electoral College was created, at least in part, to make sure elections were decided by a more “highly skilled” group of people than exists within the general population. The problem, at least in this case, is that the members of that group, elected themselves, seems to have not been as highly qualified as they were intended to be.

      In the end, “the people” as a whole, are either not as “qualified” as the country needs them to be, or, as with the republicans, who’re so determined to vote against a democrat no matter what, not brave enough to vote as their conscious dictates. Until this changes, we’ll all keep feeling helpless…

      I water for all! 😢

      Liked by 1 person

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