This is how Democracies die. Republics too. If that’s your preferred flavor or reference.
You need to vote. All of your family, your friends, your neighbors need to vote. We all need to vote for Joe Biden and the Democrats. It’s not perfect. It’s one of our last chances to salvage this without more violence. Their platform includes public financing of elections. This is the key to unlocking the capture of power of our Democratic Republic and empowering all Citizens.
A would-be autocrat has power and will seek to retain it. The oligarchs arranged the system to concentrate the power he now has. The will of the citizenry was stifled once, it may be again. The idiots made this all possible.
More voters voted for Clinton in 2016 than did for Trump. But that doesn’t matter. The electoral college voted for Trump. Sure, he may well have hacked the election literally. Figuratively. Conceptually. He may be a tool of a foreign government intent on rotting and disassembling our nation. But they were all empowered by idiots. People who did not vote.
I mean idiots in the sense taught to undergrad political science and history students. Supposedly in ancient Athens when Citizens (non-enslaved native born men of sufficient wealth) were supposed to be voting at the forum any citizen not at the assembly could be whipped (by enslaved people charged to the task) with a rope with red pain to mark them as an idiot. A person more interested in being a private citizen than in governing was thus to be punished. The historical accuracy of this story is challenged: but it is instructive. I use this word for its historical meaning, its contemporary meaning and its complexity. There’s been a lot of work done to reduce the amount of participation and voting, to suppress it through violence, deception, trickery and manipulation. But all of their tricks cannot possibly drown out even 25% of those who did not turn out in 2016 turning out in 2020. We cannot let each-other be idiots any longer.
Who does the nominating:
The Oligarchs do not want this. They want to control our choice like a magician does – they have become adroit at this. Dont settle for seeing how Joe Biden was selected out of a slew of great candidates in 2020 (including my favored Andrew Yang.) Look at the Math. Under .02% of our population control the choice. Check it out with Professor Lessig:
Ok, but “Democracies Dying?” A bit much…right?
I’ve been studying this for a long time. My undergrad degrees are in Political Science and History. My service in the Marine Corps was in Intelligence – understanding the battle-space environment, the needs of the population and the most likely and most dangerous course of action of the enemy. My studies in business and my work after it are about user-centered design, and in creating an offering that serves the needs of its users and stakeholders enough that they will pay for it and keep the business going. I am a broad generalist so I see general patterns here. But there are specialists for each of these deep verticals.
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Furthermore the corrupt seek power more eagerly, more carefully, more stealthily, more persistently.
It can happen here, it is. A would-be autocrat, a demonstrated kleptocrat and a leader of a node of transnational organized crime organization sits in our seat of supreme power. He has been Hiding in Plain Sight. He is currently in command of the most lethal force and collected power in human history. He is likely to try to keep it. It could get very ugly. This is the Election that could break America.
His opponent is a member of the oligarchy. Oligarchs want power more evenly distributed than autocrats or emperors, but they definitely intend to keep it for people like themselves. And that’s better than in the hands of a single person, because it’s more practical to get it widely distributed from there instead of a single person without violence.
Oligarchs are known by various names to history. Most people think of Senates, wealthy business leaders, councilors and bureaucrats – and these are all right. But there are more you should think of too: the Politburo, the Bakufu, The Federalists, even the Jeffersonian Democratic-Republicans. Few true Democrats exist throughout history. Jefferson owned humans, never intended for them or those like them or the “Indians” to be included in the power of the “People” he wrote so eloquently about. Communists who wrote about “Workers” obviously victimized “Bourgeoisie” when they gained power- and obviously many of people lost their power to “Committees” and “Soviets” and the “Dictatorship of the Proletariat” very rapidly.
The Oligarchs and the autocrats have been locked in a power struggle since time immemorial. The side that sways the people to their side wins for a time, then things swing back and forth, back and forth, with violence varying in degrees of intensity and distribution across the population of people within and without a state or nation (not always the same thing.)
The closest the world ever came to a broad based true democracy probably happened sometime to varying degrees in the United States of America between the Reconstruction period of the civil war and the 2000’s or so. Other Nations adopted constitutions and institutions modeled on the United States. Various of them may even have brought forth more representative and free forms, for fewer and more homogeneous populations than the United States. But ours is the best bet for the largest number of people, for the greatest example of what can be.
Oligarchs may want to keep power for themselves. But Autocrats demand it for just themselves. It never comes back again without violence.
We need to stand up and be heard. We need to take action to keep it.
It is time for us to keep it.
An apocryphal story is told:
Franklin was walking out of Independence Hall after the Constitutional Convention in 1787, when someone shouted out, “Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?”
To which Franklin supposedly responded, with a rejoinder at once witty and ominous: “A republic, if you can keep it.”This Wapo article went in depth
That’s it. Thats my post. It is time to act.