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Doing Democracy

Doing Democracy

America was founded on the principle that all are created equal and that the government of the United States exists to serve its citizens. Is that what it does? Do we really have a democracy?

As you probably know in mid-January the US Senate was unable to pass critical voting rights legislation. No Republican voted in favor of this legislation, as well as two notable Democrats..

Frances Moore Lappe´ takes a closer look at the decline of our so-called democracy with numbers that reflect lack of trust in government and how we rank among other democracies. It’s a pretty grim report. Take a look:

Voter turnout tells us a lot about trust in government. "Through the '50's and '60's, more than 60 percent of our eligible population voted. But from 1972 on, turnout stayed mainly in the 50th percentiles. Then, 2020 turnout jumped to 67% likely due to Trump's controversial presidency. Comparatively, in recent nationwide elections, the U.S. comes in a sad 30th out of 35 nations within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. At the top? Australia and Sweden where 80 percent of citizens of voting age vote."

She explains that representation inequity, gerrymandering, the electoral college, voter suppression and money in politics are responsible for this poor ranking. Read her article here.

Here are excerpts from another sobering article on the state of American democracy: Read "The Republican Party is Succeeding Because We Are Not a True Democracy" by Jedediah Britton-Purdy. "Jan. 6 and the four years before it were a forcible reminder that democracy is a task, not a birthright. Having rediscovered that we must take democracy seriously, we should now put it first in our politics. . . . Democracy matters not because there is something magical about 50-percent-plus-one in any given vote but because it gives people the power to decide how they will live together. If we don’t claim that power, the market, a court or a minority government will always be pleased to take it off our hands. . . . Democracy, when it works, puts the ultimate political power in the hands of the people who work, worry and wish they could promise their loved ones more than they can. It gives us back a bit of our world."

One more thing: It appears that the only way the Republicans believe they can win elections is by voter suppression and gerrymandering. Doesn't say much for what they stand for, does it?

And we’ve always thought we were the model of democracy for the world! If we want a true democracy we must do something about it. We must do democracy.


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