[eDebate] I Want My Democracy Back
Thu Jun 19 12:03:33 CDT 2003
Hmmm..while I wish that Coop would not have drug my wife into this, I will try to keep up on the flow...
Duane misses the point. >> I figured you might think that
<< Sure we live in a democratic republic where we participate by electing leaders to make decisions on our behalf. But our participation does not end there (or it shouldn't). >>
Sure, it shouldn't end there - but oddly enough it does for many of us - very few people take the time to be informed of daily happenings in the realm of politics. The average number of Americans who reads the paper on a daily basis, or watches the evening news has been declining for some time. As has the number of people who vote in elections. You're looking at the SHOULD, I'm looking at the reality.
<< First, even if that were it...how could you make an informed decision about who to vote for in an environment where policy decisions are hidden behind a veil of lies and half-truths used to manufacture your consent. How can you make an informed decision about what course of action is "good" or "bad" when the aff. is fabbing evidence?? And don't you choose who you will vote for on the basis of their policy positions (as well as character issues like, oh, say trustworthiness on issues of great national importance). >>
I wonder how many people really take the time to make "informed decisions" about voting? I mean, I try to - that' why I'll vote for Leiberman if nominated because I like, and whole heartedly support, his stance on Cystics Fibrosis, and his comitment to find a cure. Many people though,from both wings, vote because they won't vote for an alternative. That is to say, a certain large portion of people vote Democrat, because they'd vote Democrat if Lucifer was on the ticket, or vote Republican if Hitler was on the ticket. As for determing if an action is "bad," or "good," there are lots of ways. You say the action in Iraq was bad because no WMD have come forth. I say, that might be true, but people that were hiding in concrete rooms in their wall spaces for 22 years, because they spoke against Sadaam, can now walk around in the open, children won't be tortured in front of their parents, and there will be no more mass graves filled with the bodies of people killed for speaking out against
Sadaam. And that's good. As for voting for people on their character - I think Clinton showed us that character has nothing to do with elections, people will ignore character issues if they perceive the candidate will give them what they want.
<< Second, democracy is about (or SHOULD be about) more than just who we pick to cast the votes. That's Goldberg's whole point when she says that not all democracies are equal. I want my democracy to be participatory...one where informed citizens affect the debate on important public policy issues. Where we call our congresspeople and let them know what we think. Where citizen-activists pull resources to form "special interest" (read: citizen) groups that lobby for their causes. NONE of this kind of public discourse can occur FAIRLY in a world where the facts are skewed. Where only the aff. is available on Lexis and the neg. evidence is "classified" (how do you think I won so many of those early NEST debates??). >>
But EVERYONE is guilty of skewing the facts. Salon tells me that the White House edited down the report, and that people are outraged. AP News (Yahoo Newswire) tells me that the EPA knew about it, and that Whitman was happy because she felt the climate data was based on a rush to judgement, and that the removal of it would not hurt the report's quality, and would allow more time, and a seperate venue for the Climate Data to be described, and Jason Blair might tell me that Bush edited the thing with a Crayon while staring at the tobacco fields from the front porch of the Lynch house, while Rush will tell me that the report was full of environmentalist whacko predictions, while Paul Begala will tell me that Bush is Lucifer.....It's a hopeless maze. THe media does a poor job of informing anyone anymore because it's so hopelessly slanted - if you want news from the right go to Fox, news from the left go elsewhere, but if you want fair news - go noewhere.
Now - as for classified verses open. This causes me some problems. I think that some of hte information has to be classified, and here's why: 1) I think that realeasing some of hte information would compromise security - I don't have time to elaborate, so cut me some slack here and fill in what I mean, and 2) (With the 9/11 info) I'm not sure that any data would be used for anything, by either side, than to secure cheap, political points. It would not be constructive, in other words. That said - I do think that people who are non-partisan, and have the proper security clearances shoudl review the data, and publish, in any possible way, the results. I would love to know what Bush might have known about 9/11, or Clinton knew about Osama's long range plans and capabilities before Bush. I would love to know what happened to the WMD in Iraq that everyone, including the UN, "knew" to be there from 1998 on.
As for WMD - look, it took months for the Clinton adminstration to locate a box of records, in an area the size of the White House. You now are demanding that the US find WMD in a country the size of California in less than 2 months??? Come on. Now, if those wepaons are not in Iraq anymore, then I want to know where they are - who has them? Or, did Sadaam get rid of them? And if he got rid of them, then why all the shit with the inspectors? Why not come clean?
<< Third, what has become entirely clear is that, as the amount of information with which we are bombarded grows exponentionally, the importance of the "fourth pillar" of democracy (the media) grows as well. Again, democracy is an excercise in PERSUASION. Lies and half-truths are one way to do that, but not a very good way. Especially not when lives are at stake. >>
See above though, the "lies" and "Half Truths" are as much the creation of hte media, as of the government. I think we've moved beyond hte simple constraints of "persuasion," neither side tells the truth anymore.
To quote Chomsky: The issue is whether we want to live in a free society or whether we want to live under what amounts to a form of self-imposed totalitarianism, with the bewildered herd marginalized, directed elsewhere, terrified, screaming patriotic slogans, fearing for their lives, and admiring with awe the leader who saved them from destruction, while the educated masses goose-step on command and repeat slogans they're supposed to repeat and the society deteriorates at home. We end up serving as a mercenary enforcer state, hoping that others are going to pay us to smash up the world.
<< Or let me put it in simpler terms for you, Duane...imagine, just for a second, that Bert is sleeping with another man. That she loves another man. Of course, she still loves you. You just don't do it for her anymore. You're like a best freind, a life-partner, a pal. For your own good, she hides the affair from you. She doesn't want to hurt you. And she's right...if you knew you'd be heart broken and where does that get anybody, right? You love her. You trust her. Even when she is sleeping with another man she is looking out for your best interests, as you trust she always will. So she goes on living the lie, and so do you. It's not like your situation is unique. Most people cheat on their partners. And, most of the time, it's better that no one is the wiser. Why should you be any different? >>
Hmmm....I wish you had not used my wife's name here, but you did....I try to keep her out of thse things - she's still receiving pot shot e-mails from people on this list who dissaprove of me - if youv'e got beef with me, come to me, not my wife. Now - this is hard - and I see what you mean...It would cause me to think about what I valued more, the intergrity of hte relationship, or the happiness of all involved. I don't know what' I'd conclude...cept that whoever she was sleeping with wouldn't be happy!!:)
It's still a marriage...right? >>
Some peopel do this, it's not for me, but some people have "open" marriages - it works for them...It wouldn't work for me. But some people are happy this way..
"You may be whatever you resolve to be." Thomas J. Jackson
"A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which he (or she) proposes to pay off with your money."
Do you Yahoo!?
SBC Yahoo! DSL - Now only $29.95 per month!
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Mailman