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'Maybe We Should Be': Rebuke and Ridicule After Mike Lee Says 'We Are Not a Democracy'

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/10/09/maybe-we-should-be-rebuke-and-ridicule-after-mike-lee-says-we-are-not-democracy

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To be fair to Mike Lee, he wants a Supreme Court that ignores the intent of the 15th amendment, like conservatives favorite “strict constructionist” courts did at the end of the 19th century. An amendment that gave Congress the explicit power to enforce voting rights isn’t in the “originalists” wheelhouse.

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The more people making the final decisions the closer to democracy you have .

Its called a participatory system as everyone matters not just the rich and powerful.

Get money out of politics .

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Mike Lee:

“It should matter to anyone who worries about the excessive accumulation of power in the hands of the few.”

Actually, that worries the hell out of me. Right now, the power centers in this country at the national level reside in:

The Senate, where states with as few as 15% of the US population can control the agenda
Corporations, whose lobbyists and donations completely own the duopoly

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This is silly. I am a longtime anti-war activist who despises both imperialist war parties and is horrified by Trump’s attempted fascist coup. BUT, Lee is right that we are not a democracy. We are republic with heavy power given to a senate that is fundamentally non-democratic. We have as constitutional inheritance an electoral college system that allows a candidate who loses the popular vote to be president. Also both parties have given unconstitutional war powers to the president/executive branch. We have a secret police( CIA/NSA) directed primarily by the executive branch with no constitutional basis and shitty oversight that doesn’t work.
Also what exactly is sacred about 51% ruling over 49%, or in Trump’s case with a loser of popular vote from gutting environmental laws, and using his office for personal gain, lying about pandemic etc? In many places in the world The rule of the majority leads to severe oppression of minority groups. In the US the white settler colonialists murdered and stole land from indigenous cultures, using the government armies empowered by majorities.
What we lack is vision for deep change and both parties are entrenched in bloody imperialist policies that are destroying our planet and making popular change for the better impossible.

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Mike lee should have FASCISM branded on his forehead. This could explain why Trump loathes ANFITA, the anti fascism movement. He knows ANTIFA targets and stands to fight fascism and racism in America they are an ever growing force to reckon with.

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Let’s be candid. The U.S. Constitution is archaic and geared toward the perpetuation of oligarchy.

The U.S. people need to scrap their constitution. And don’t give me any nonsense about how a new constitution would be more right-wing than the current one.

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Need and ability to do so are very different. Amending the constitution is difficult, and even with amendments that give Congress the ability to enforce things like voting rights (15th amendment), justices spent half a century ignoring them. That’s why my comment was geared toward the easiest way to change things now: electing different people to state legislative offices in a redistricting year. Democrats take the lower house of Texas and that’s going to have real, decade-long ramifications. It’s also why the governor of Texas is taking concrete steps to stop that from happening.

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Just scrap the fucking thing. Get in the streets and demand a constitutional assembly. Don’t try to use the existing constitution to amend it or draft a new one. Begin from scratch. A new world is possible. All that is needed is the political will. This comes from the people marching in multitudes through the streets, surrounding government buildings and demanding a constitutional assembly.

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We have a government where “The House is divided.” We have a population where the house is divided. We have an economy where the house is divided.
Some would call that freedom, some would call it division.
When we got to the point where our military and congress exist to favor money over the health and welfare of “The People” we have lost.

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We have people like this in congress. And we pay for them? That would seem like taxation without representation.

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We do need either a greatly revised Constitution or a new one, but given who has the guns and who controls the media, I am fearful of what horrific document would emerge from any new Constitutional
Convention, and poor working Americans might lose what few rights and benefits we have left.

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Couldn’t agree with you more. The Gross Old Party is; and has always been, a organized crime syndicate. It’s that: I got mine;to hell with you. They only care about who can fill their pockets.

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I’ve been waiting a while now from some one on the right to make this “natural leap.” The GOP for decades have been a minority party that requires lifting democratic talking points (remember ‘compassionate’ being attached to conservatism?) and then requiring the Electoral College or the Supreme Court to intervene and declare the loser as the victor.

A representative democracy it is not, and hasn’t been for as long as I’ve been paying attention.

However, a Republic is supposed to be representative as well - just ask Plato. And Mike Lee’s claim here pretty much indicates the Right are going to end up dumping their Republic claims as well with this current progression (or is it regression?).

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our system believes that some voters should count more than others rather than trying to fix it.

Yes, what we need is a system that includes superdelegates, that way some animals will be EXTRA more equal.

I have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence. I have often pondered over the dangers which were incurred by the men who assembled here, and framed and adopted that Declaration of Independence. I have pondered over the toils that were endured by the officers and soldiers of the army who achieved that Independence. I have often inquired of myself, what great principle or idea it was that kept this Confederacy so long together. It was not the mere matter of the separation of the Colonies from the motherland; but that sentiment in the Declaration of Independence which gave liberty, not alone to the people of this country, but, I hope, to the world, for all future time…

But if this country cannot be saved without giving up that principle, I was about to say I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it.
~http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/philadel.htm#:~:text=from%20this%20hall.-,I%20have%20never%20had%20a%20feeling%20politically%20that%20did%20not,adopted%20that%20Declaration%20of%20Independence.

One civil war later:

…we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
~http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/gettysburg.htm

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You cannot kill an idea.

The idea expressed above will not die even if Trump gets his way - it will not die even if the United States of America implodes.

“This they tell, and whether it happened so or not I do not know, but if you think about it, you can see that it is true.”
― Black Elk

Wasn’t “spreading democracy” the one of the motives used to “justify” invading all those Middle Eastern countries back in the GW Bush era? Defending and spreading democracy everywhere but here, I guess.

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We’re a corporatocracy!

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Could not agree more with you on fascism and anti-fascism where we should all be!
However that has nothing to do with Mike Lee’s statement that the US is not a democracy. He is factually 100% correct as others have already commented.
I am Canadian and live in a Parliamentary Democracy and I will point out a few obvious differences:

There is no such thing as an “electoral college” that can and does override the vote of the people.

There is no such thing as a “Grand Jury” that can, in total secrecy, imprison a person, even for life as probably will be the case for Chelsea Manning and certainly will for Julian Assange if the UK fails under US pressure and gives him up.

In a real democracy every thing possible is done to ensure that the Supreme Court is, unlike the US, free of partisan politics.

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Well if Trump does get re-elected by some magical hocus pocus shenanigans we will certainly be Canada’s underwear.