Yes, we have no democracy, we have no democracy today. I guess I’m not sure we have ever had a true democracy as everything has always been pretty much rigged for wealthy White men, but it seems to me that what we had when I was younger certainly resembled democracy much more than what we currently have.
I guess the best example of our absence of democracy at the moment has to do with the issue of gun control. There is no doubt that a majority of American citizens are in favor of gun control, in some cases, like background checks, almost unanimously, in other cases like assault weapons and large capacity magazines, not so overwhelmingly in favor, but certainly by a substantial majority. However, it appears at the moment that we are not likely to get much of anything in the way of gun control, so much for democracy. The people speak but Congress does not listen, they are lining their pockets with cash from the gun industry and others who stand to gain from opposing gun control.
If this was only true of the gun control issue perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad, but of course it is true of most everything these days. Our Congresspersons have long since given up working for the common good, or even the good of the nation, they work for whoever it is that is bribing them the most. This is no longer a case of a few bad apples but is now commonplace and even legal, so much for democracy.
Another thing that troubles me deeply and is also related to the lack of democracy has to do with the “war” with Iraq. I put war in quotes because as far as I can remember there was never any declaration of war by Congress, the body that is supposed to be in charge of declaring wars. Just before Bush/Cheney embarked on this completely illegal, unconstitutional war crime I recall there were millions of people all around the world that rallied against such an action. Bush/Cheney and their gang of war criminals paid no attention and on the basis of outrageous lies led us into this disastrous enterprise.
Today, the tenth anniversary of this obscenity, it is being reviewed once again. The consensus seems to be pretty clear it was brought about by lies, was unnecessary, perhaps the worst foreign policy disaster in history, and so on. And it is equally clear who the proponents were, Bush/Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, and a host of others, all clearly guilty of terrible war crimes, not only the worst crime of all, a presumptive attack on a country that was no threat, but also torture, war profiteering, illegal weapons, the killing of innocent civilians, and worse. Interestingly, in all I heard of this on television today, which was considerable, there was hardly a word about accountability. A couple of people, one a veteran of the conflict, mentioned accountability, but it was as if it fell on deaf ears. No one even suggested that Bush/Cheney or any of the others should be arrested and tried for their crimes. They all walk free and engage in whatever activities they choose apparently untroubled either by conscience or law. I don’t know if a majority of Americans want them arrested and tried or not, I suspect not. But if we truly lived in a democracy this outrage would most probably not have happened and if it did those responsible would be held accountable.
I can understand why President Obama and his administration decided against pursuing Bush/Cheney and others for their obvious war crimes. First, it would have been unprecedented for a new administration to bring actions against an outgoing administration. But given the almost 50/50 division of the country it might well have sparked a civil war. Even so, Bush/Cheney and the others should have been shunned and certainly should not have been allowed to walk around boasting of their crimes and making big bucks on the lecture circuit and so on. Practical exigencies may have made it difficult to bring charges but this does not erase the obvious and blatant moral and ethical violations that occurred, moral and ethical violations that are not even being discussed, at least by the MSM. Bush/Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and many others should have been arrested, tried for war crimes, and met whatever fate is provided for such people. Because that was/is not politically feasible does not exonerate them in any way. Decent people should avoid them just as they avoid other kinds of scum.