Sunday, March 11, 2012

Why America is No Longer a Democratic Republic

Based on an editorial by David Model, posted at OpEdNews
Cited here are quotations from David Model, a college professor, author, and public speaker.. They are excerpts from his recent editorial titled Media Circus Obsession: Obfuscating the Real Deficiencies of U.S. Democracy, In addition to the statements below, Mr. Model presents what he sees as thirteen defects in our government that keep America from being a democracy.Aside from his list of thirteen defects, these are the comments I see as being of greatest interest to Americans who dread the erosion of democracy in America.
When commenting on the impact of elections on democratic ideals, it is necessary to look beneath the symptoms and identify the real problems.”
Barnum and Bailey would turn green with envy at the circus masquerading as an electoral campaign currently in the United States.”
Electioneering spectacles are both artificial and superficial but are really just a symptom of the underlying infringements of democratic ideals.”
United States, Britain and Canada are the only three democracies that have not implemented some variation of proportional representation but have clung to the First-Past-The-Post system, a majoritarian system, in which only a plurality is needed in each voting district to determine the outcome.”
.”.. it (is) virtually impossible for smaller parties to gain any ground in the elected chambers of government. ”
.”..the Electoral College ... enhances the possibility of the winner having fewer popular votes than the loser.”
American election campaigns are incapable of informing the public about the real stances of candidates on all the issues and revealing the true character and integrity of the candidates.”
In many European countries paid advertising has been banned due to the overriding manipulative nature of a thirty second ad designed by public relations and advertising experts who are only interested in selling a product rather than informing the public.”
Many democracies have also banned donations by any groups such as corporations and unions …”
... the ideal method for funding elections would be based on a fair formula by which the government would either provide all the money or a balanced combination of government funding and individual donations with strict limits.”
In the U.S., there is a two party system in which both parties are beholden to corporate donors …”
In 2011, a total of $3.3 billion was spent on lobbying by 12,633 lobbyists translating into $6,168,000 spent on each member of the House and Senate on average and 23.6 lobbyists per each member of both Houses.”
In 2012, many pundits are predicting a total expenditure of $5 billion for all campaigns, the major source of which are wealthy benefactors or corporations.
Lobbying virtually destroys political equality in the United States thereby undermining the principle of "by the people, for the people" and "dedicated to the principle that all men are created equal.”
It is impossible to govern with only the public interest in mind when candidates are beholden to the people who funded their victory.”
As for ordinary citizens, they may be able to meet with their member of Congress or Senate but the extent of their influence is often minimal.”
The bailout during the financial crises ignored those who suffered the most, namely those who lost their jobs, the poor and those who lost their homes.”
Leadership in Congress has been accorded too much power which can be used to serve ideological ends rather than the public interest.”
In the United States, Supreme Court appointments are tainted by ideological considerations.   The Citizens United and the Florida Recount cases demonstrate the role of ideology in the Court's judgments.”
.”.. the criminalization of dissent and militarization of the police have resulted in a multiplicity of violations of civil and legal rights not to mention the First Amendment.”
Corporate ownership and advertising and the symbiotic relation between big corporations and the government have reduced the media to stenographers of power.”
I hope the items quoted here will prompt you to read Mr. Model's entire editorial on the subject. And, of course, you will have to read his full statement to review the thirteen defects he sees in our government today.

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