I won't be the first to say it, but allow me to say it my way: the United States is not a Democracy, but is instead a completely corporate-controlled fascist state.
Ask any American who would argue otherwise; what is the last thing that THE PEOPLE of the United States were able to accomplish through democratic methods? They might argue...well, we elected the Democrats to congress in 2006. To that, I would ask what the Democrats have accomplished on their behalf. What tangible, measurable, real thing or outcome has been actually achieved through the supposed Democracy not just this year...but in the last decades?!? Yes, it's that bad!
Don't get me wrong, in fact the government has taken tangible action...every time corporations want them to. Invading Iraq was an oil industry and military-industrial-complex decision. Health care policy is set by the insurance companies. Every single bill that comes out of our government is really a bill pushed for, debated by, and and created for corporations. Governance is now nothing other than a battle between the most powerful of corporations. The people are not even a factor.
Democratic supporters often wonder why the vast majority of Americans are so politically apathetic. They believe that every vote counts and everyone can make a difference. Really? Isn't it smarter not to spend time, effort, and money playing a game that is completely rigged?
And that's what American politics has become, a game...a sport. Its a battle of nothing more than ideas...ideology that ultimately translates to nothing tangible in the real, actual world. We want to be right, with arguments, to defeat our enemies...yet in the process absolutely nothing ever gets done. And so many well-intentioned citizens continue to believe that all of this will change at some arbitrary point in the future.
Well now we have a Democratic congress that was elected specifically to end the war in Iraq. We have a President who disagrees with them, but has an approval rating at 29%. If there ever, ever was a time to represent the people In a clear, decisive way...this was it. It isn't going to get any more straightforward. Yet they couldn't do it. They couldn't imagine actually doing something that the people actually want...damned the consequences. Why? We are told that it is because of what might happen in Iraq after we leave. You're telling me that a Senator or Presidential candidate is going to throw away his or her political future because they're worried about what might happen to Iraqis? You really believe that? Come on. So let me ask again...what are the real reasons?
Democracy isn't, as Americans have come to expect, intellectual masturbation. I had to learn this by leaving America. Now I live in Slovakia, and this is a Democracy. Democracy is when people elect a representative who gets things done on their behalf. Want to end a war? Want a health care system? Better schools? College tuition covered? In a democratic country, your elected representatives actually do these things for you. And yet Americans have so little confidence in their representatives...even the ones they voted for....that it is necessary to call, sign petitions, and write letters to politicians begging and pleading with them to take a stand on a position which they shouldn't have to even be reminded about. And even this effort goes ignored...perhaps explained by the media construct that "the American people" would not support such a policy. Really? We're gonna let the Corporate system, the Corporate Media, tell us who we are as a people and what we would or wouldn't support? This means more than listening to what the actual supporters actually support? Or maybe the corporate definition of the average American is true, maybe they were actually able to manufacture such a creature with enough propaganda through enough years.
I don't have any answers, but I do know that the only way to turn a corporate-controlled, fascist state into a democracy is through revolution. You can't work within its rigged, corrupt framework. This is precisely what has happened in the countries of the world which do have Democracies...and there are many: France, Portugal, Brazil, the countries of Eastern Europe, certainly many more...in these countries real change actually happens as a result of elections. Health care systems are socialized, college tuition is covered by the state, decisions about war are a reflection of public opinion. And yet Americans continue to feel that the way things are are simply the way they've always been and always will be...expectations are nil because experience tells us that this is reality.
We no longer have the freedom that Democracy brings, but at least we owe it to ourselves to embrace the freedom that the pursuit of truth brings. One of these truths is that America is not a democratic state.
Read the response to this post at the famous Democratic Underground.