Comments on: How would Tocqueville see this election? Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: maximillianwyse Thu, 01 Nov 2012 01:27:09 +0000 Strangely, there isn’t much evidence that the framers of the Constitution ever intended “our representatives” to be accountable to us, other than at election time, and only members of the lower house at that. Senators were originally chosen by state legislatures.

And even in Madison’s day, there had to be some suspicion that maybe not all of those august bodies were houses of thorough moral rectitude.

Participatory democracy works best in settings where the stakes aren’t terribly high, and the participants have a lot in common. A few New England townships, mainly. Where bigger financial interests are affected, as in some of the California proposition frenzies, it’s every bit as inspiring as a presidential primary campaign.

The measure of any government should be how well it works with people as they are, not with people as we think they ought to be. Churchill had it right: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”

By: ARJTurgot2 Thu, 01 Nov 2012 00:00:47 +0000 I love Tocqueville, and anything that encourages anyone to read him is of value, but to suggest that:

“He bequeathed to us the belief in American “exceptionalism”

is just lame. There is no need for this type of poor scholarship.

By: OneOfTheSheep Wed, 31 Oct 2012 23:55:16 +0000 Yes, the American political process has materially deteriorated.

We had a system in which intelligent and competent individuals became prosperous enough to travel to Washington for the period necessary to “see to the country’s business” at their own expense and GO HOME! Today we send a privileged “political class” to Washington periodically whose expenses of election, etc. are paid, in no small part, by those “special interests” as expect in return disproportionate fealty to their specific views.

Because their power and influence increase with “time of service” and “we, the people” have allowed them to set their own salaries and benefits, “our” representatives tend to become much better off financially that those they purportedly represent. It is quite logical that today none ever cease “running for office” and spend more time satisfying those who will help them win the next election than taking on their “real job” of being effective representatives of ALL the people and acting in the best long term interests of these United States.

A similar deterioration in function is evident in our judiciary at every level. Oaths of office have been rendered without teeth by Supreme Court decisions that make each of our robed robbers untouchable if they use the wrong law, use the right law wrongly, or maliciously, or vindictively, or with premeditation against average citizens so long as what they do is done within their authority. The inevitable result is that daily in courts throughout the land the adage “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” is proven again and again and citizen victims have no effective recourse or remedy.

Neither major political party has any incentive whatsoever to change any of this because they can so easily deploy one “interest” against another so as to deflect any and all expectation of good faith governance and thus remain where they are until they decide to retire from “the game”. “We, the people” have given over the “levers of power” so gradually that we are like the lobster being cooked by raising the temperature of the one degree per day.

Since “our representatives” are no longer accountable to us in any meaningful manner, is it any wonder they have ceased to listen to or even consider “our” interests in short or long term? Until such day as we unite and again claim back the powers our founding fathers bequeathed us, and which we have allowed to steadily slip away, we shall have no better and we deserve no better.

By: LysanderTucker Wed, 31 Oct 2012 20:59:01 +0000 When I first read Democracy in America, I was amazed at just how much long term forethought was placed in his thoughts. There is not a single debate in politics now, nor a single politician who can see beyond the immediate in their reasoning and appeal to the masses. America has become a popularity contest. If legislators were to ever learn from their mistakes, or outlaw concepts that were proven not to work, then they would cease to exist.