Re: [sixties-l] Bedtime for Democracy

From: Ted Morgan (
Date: 12/19/00

  • Next message: Jerry West: "Re: [sixties-l] Bedtime for Democracy"

    If this election marks "bedtime for democracy," I wonder what kind of somnolescent
    state it's been in prior to this election!  The electoral college's "over-ruling"
    of the popular "majority" vote pales by comparison with the fact that the real
    flesh & blood majority don't vote as a rule, with the primary reason for this
    being that they see nothing to "vote for" --i.e., non-voting is, in effect, a
    rational act on their part.
    Note Jim Washburn's language:
    > "Gore won the popular vote in the country, which in a democracy would make him
    > president.  Add the few percent who voted for Ralph Nader, and there is a
    > distinct majority of Americans who did not want the man who is now their
    > president."
    This is a classic mainstream (in this case liberal-centrist rather than
    right-centrist) narrowing of language, narrowing of politics so that it excludes
    the real majority of human beings that live in this country.  And, as such, it is
    part & parcel of the whole narrowing of the spectrum of opinion the mainstream
    media has been doing at least since (if not during) the 60s, with the effect than
    any substantive criticism remotely radical is virtually invisible in the
    mainstream media --as are a host of ills produced by this very
    liberal-capitalist-imperialist system (try: systematic poverty, a future under
    globalization in which roughly 40% of the public is written of as leasing
    irrelevant, superfluous lives (to say nothing of several billion people in the 3rd
    world), a foreign policy that continues to prop up militarists and crush peasant
    revolts (e.g. Colombia) while also silently crushing the lives and hopes of
    hundreds of thousands in Iraqis....  And please note, that Al Gore and the
    Democratic Party that is in hock to corporate America would do virtually nothing
    at all to counter these trends; these screaming voices would remain silenced.
    So, friends, from THIS perspective, when I read something like this:
    > So what do we do now? Unless there's a domed city in the Marianas Trench
    > where we can go sit out the Bush presidency, we deal with it.
    > After the Supreme Court decision, I was talking the other night with my old
    > friend Kim, who wasn't facing the prospect of a Bush presidency and a
    > possible quarter-century of Supreme Court obstructionists with a
    > particularly upbeat outlook. She sees the darkness gathering, a return of
    > the Reagan era, of the public slumbering through eight years of cynical
    > greed doped up with Happy Meal public relations.
    ...I feel a wave of something between nausea and rage and I have to write some
    response.  The real question, in my view, is whether all those "progressives" who
    backed Al Gore and are so enraged by the Supreme Court/ Electoral College "coup"
    will stay stuck within the goal posts of two-party politics, or whether they will
    venture back outside and start targeting the system and its ills.
    Bedtime for democracy indeed!  We have indeed "come a long way" from the 1960s.
    The question really is: is democracy still breathing?
    Ted Morgan

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