Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/07/30/death-americas-democracy
Democracy died when the SCOTUS installed Dick Cheney and his puppet Dubya in 2000. The US has been accelerating its downward spiral into fascism ever since. The GOP is on the verge of the full out fascism Chile experienced after Nixon and Kissinger triggered the Allende assassination, complete with secret police snatching protesters, intellectuals and opposition candidates off city streets and dropping them out of aircraft over the ocean.
I think it aIso died when Justice ScaIia and others made succumbed to insanity by saying that corporations are peopIe too! I have read that no prior Court had said that—BUT —that a court clerk had written that untruth in the margin of the courts response very long ago. : (
Corporations have been interpreted as people since the era Emancipation and railroad barons. They’ve been accumulating "personal rights’ trough the courts ever since. We should have been asking this question for over a century; what democracy?
YES! BUT as the corporations have fixed it, then they must Iive as PeopIe too. If they insist on being “peopIe,” when it benefits them, but not peopIe when it doesn’t —then Iet’s start with this.
A corporation is a person? O.K. then pay the taxes that person would pay.AND when a corporation dies ( i.e.goes broke, ) then they must explain cause of death and be examined in minute detail to make sure they are not hiding or absconding with the money! Maybe the corporation was murdered!!! THEN We the PeopIe need to know who kiIIed it! : )
Death of America’s Democracy?
You mean Death of affluent White America’s Democracy. The US has never had Democracy for people of color, indigenous peoples, and people at the lower ends of the economic hierarchy.
This is a story that Americans very much need to hear. These emergency powers are scary. I am convinced that Trump intends to call a national emergency to either suspend the election or declare the results invalid. In fact, I’ve been predicting this for more than a year. Then what will we do?
Some say that the Constitution is clear & Trump is out in January, but Trump does follow the Constitution nor due process. And he is already making pretexts for suspending elections or not honoring them, & readying troops & militia friendly to him for possible repression of opposition & for personal defense.
There has been a steady, systematic undermining of democratic values over the last 40-50 years, which has drastically accelerated under the current administration.
We probably do not gain much by arguing over what moment rigor mortis gets declared official. According to a fairly popular American ethos, if a government is democratic, it is likely worthy of support, although it may be “imperfect.” If it is not, it is not legitimate and not worthy of support.
The opinions of Americans get almost zero representation in policy anywhere in government. The narrative of remaining democracy does detain policy to some degree, and that is not insignificant. But we are not represented, and both major parties actively see to it that we are not. The government has not been mostly legitimate, even in the usual imperfect sense.
We need some other action, and not the harder or softer coup that has become likely.
Bravo to Barbara Miner for her experience and her observation here. Events in Chile from 9/11/73 and the other sorts of “regime change” events over the last 70 years or so merit our attention because we are somewhere on that same continuum, and with the same organizations and partly the same people at the helm.
Whatever the results of any election between our dystopian candidates in November. we are apt to enter a harder phase then, likely on excuse of election fraud–an accusation that is abundantly believable with regard to either major party.
U.S. democracy was long dead even as the country backed the Chilean dictatorship.
Sadly, you are exactly right. And almost no one will see the truth, nor take actions to fight back while (if) we still can.
Election fraud & voter supression has long been the tactic of 1 Party.
Do I think there will be a military coup in the United States?
From my perspective, yes but a long time ago: 11/22/63.
Is it possible for such a large country to be democratic and representative of the people? (Leaving aside the narrower question of whether it is possible for a country to be so large, and not imperialist…)
Maybe the “… to form a more perfect union…” has become at this point to undo the union and become looser and more responsive locally to the people. That the people of New Mexico look to Santa Fe, the people of Kansas to look to Topeka, etc. and no one looks to Washington DC or the federal government.
I disagree. Both parties, in their separate ways.
“Voter suppression” has long been an accusation against the conservative party, whether that was the government headed by King Charles X of France in 1830, or others more recent. An accusation made against the Republicans in recent years, likely exaggerated, but instances still are valid. (The same accusation can be made against TPTB (Beijing) in Hong Kong. Nothing liberal or progressive going on there.)
“Election fraud” can be made against both ideological stripes. That was long true of ‘The Revolutionary Family’ later known as the PRI party in Mexico, and long true of the Daley Democrat party in Chicago. That seems to still be true of entrenched Democrats in certain places seeking to extend its effects to more places.
This language and framing have to change around regarding the US as a legitimate authority that represents the will of the people or is in any manner a real democracy. It’s a rather gross misrepresentation to present the US as anything other than authoritarian gangsters who only care about acquiring more power for themselves, as they and every other nation state/feudal empire throughout the history of western civilization also has been.
But of course most here already know the US is completely corrupt, as are corporations and banks. With one major exception at the moment, when it comes to covid19 the government, medical industrial complex, and corporate media only have your best interests at heart and are telling you the absolute truth. Why would they lie? They were telling you the truth about the war on drugs right? And about terrorism? And about the red scare?.. Seems as though every time fear is widely escalated in the name of security it’s 90% bullshit created directly for the powers that be to lurch after more power and each time the people find themselves with less privacy and less freedom than they had before.
Centralized authority isn’t freedom, isn’t democracy, it’s either fascism or fascism lite, you get fascism lite if you conform willingly, if you don’t like what power is dishing out though you’ll meet the full brunt of fascist authority.
No, Sun, the Republicans do it too–as have many others around the globe, really.
Barbara, thanks for this excellent instructive piece. I was pleased to see it, after all these years. You may not remember me but I worked with you and Bob at Rethinking Schools back in the 90s. (You never mentioned then your time in Chile!) I’m still writing, mostly for counterpunch, if you want to check out my pieces. Hope all is well with you.
Something needs to be alive before it can die.
It deid a long time ago and has been fake since then, but one rich peopleds party party, wanting to not be blamed is trying to pretend its ALL the other partys fault. Which is total bullshit, they are both in cahoots together to do this.