“Capitalism only works in a functioning democracy,” Mike Baxter, Tim Allen’s character in the sitcom “Last Man Standing.”
What is a functioning democracy? According to Ryan Griffiths, there are 8 Elements of Democracy, and they are as follows.
- Rule of Law – In a democracy, everyone must follow the same laws (even leaders). Laws should be known, predictable, and impartial. Even the highest members of the government are subject to the law.
- Political Equality – In a democracy, every citizen has the right to vote, run for office, and to participate in political discussion.
- Common Good – Democratic citizens should work toward the common good. The ‘common good’ is what will make the most people safe, secure, and happy. Democratic citizens should have a sense of responsibility and caring for others.
- Personal Freedoms – In a democracy, people enjoy many personal freedoms including freedom of religion and freedom of expression as well as many others.
- Human Dignity – Democratic citizens should protect and uphold the dignity of all people.
- Political Freedoms – In a democracy, people can speak freely, form political associations, run for office, and vote without being intimidated.
- Being Informed and Getting Involved – Democratic citizens should communicate openly and participate individually, and collectively in issues that shape their community, country and world.
- Respect – Democratic citizens should respect the rights of others.
Ironically, American capitalists are destroying the foundation on which capitalism depends. Big money, sometimes dark money and Citizens United have overtaken the government to shift laws in their favor at the expense of everyone else. Big money must be removed from government and campaign finance laws must be changed to guarantee political equality. Voter suppression and gerrymandering must end to ensure the fair and free elections required by a functional democracy. And, most importantly, a functioning democracy requires the opportunity for everyone to earn a livable wage and an economy that works for all. Not just the few. Sadly, the capitalists think they are saving money by paying substandard wages and benefits for their workers, when they are actually destroying their own futures and the future of our country because of their greed.
Back in November 2018, I published a post called “Decency in Differences” in which I praised Martha McSally and Krysten Sinema in their very respectful exchange after their Senate race. It is reprinted below.
A hopeful moment in politics… I hope it continues!
The Arizona United States Senate race between candidates Martha McSally (R) and Krysten Sinema (D) has given me hope that tribalism may not be our only future. McSally’s congratulatory concession video demonstrated how to lose with honor and respect. This video can be viewed at realclearpolitics.com and it is titled Republican McSally Concedes Arizona Senate Race to Democratic Winner Kyrsten Sinema.
Krysten Sinema spoke of finding common ground in her victory speech and gave a tribute to Republican Senator John McCain. This video can be viewed at cnn.com and is titled Sinema gives tribute to McCain in victory speech.
These candidates provided an outstanding example of how to run a civilized campaign and what to do when the results come in. Decency trumped party. Decency and respect need not be sacrificed. There can be decency in differences.
Following that election, interim U.S. Senator Jon Kyl announced his resignation from Arizona’s other Senate seat, and Republican Governor Doug Ducey appointed McSally to succeed Kyl where she assumed that office on January 3rd, 2019.
This Harvard educated, retired Air Force Colonel who demonstrated the upmost dignity and decency in November 2018, became a dishonorable, disrespectful opportunist willing to give up her stellar reputation for a short term political advantage. I am deeply disappointed. Earlier this week, a respected CNN reporter asked McSally if she would consider the new evidence recently reported related to Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial. She dodged the question and called it pathetic and called the reporter a “liberal hack.”
What happened to the McSally of 2018? Was she brainwashed by exposure to Trumpism? Her sense of honor and decency has been extracted. Is all hope lost? How many more will be Trumped before this is all over? I don’t know…
It was reported yesterday that the Justice Department review of Hillary Clinton found nothing of consequence. No improper actions involving the totally fabricated Uranium One story or the use of a private email server. The State Department found “no deliberate mishandling of classified information…” regarding the emails. Ten investigations found no improper actions in relation to the Benghazi attack. In October 2016, the Justice Department felt the cases against the Clinton Foundation were “…weak and saw little reason to continue the investigations.” Again, in January 2020, the Justice Department “…found nothing worth pursuing…” after Trump called for further investigations into Clinton in 2017.
Uranium One, emails, Benghazi and the Clinton Foundation all thoroughly investigated and no wrongdoing found! Before the 2016 election, I didn’t follow politics very closely, didn’t watch much news and certainly didn’t hear right-wing media views firsthand. However, I still had a loose view that Clinton maybe wasn’t totally honorable. This doubt was caused by some offhand comments by others as these lies subconsciously permeated my worldview. But now that I’ve had three years to research this view, I have found that the Republican-right successfully vilified Clinton. I still voted for Clinton in the 2016 election because the alternative was far worse than the view I had of Clinton.
It’s time to stop the chants of “LOCK HER UP.” Our Democracy requires healthy debate, not ridiculous characterizations and lies. Seek the truth!
Some are saying we have the best economy ever, but, in reality, it isn’t working for nearly 80% of Americans. According to Robert Reich the seven biggest failures of Trumponomics are as follows:
- The trade deficit is at an all time high meaning we are importing a lot more goods than we are exporting (exported goods made by Americans).
- Humongous federal debt.
- Wages remain flat while corporate profits soar.
- Corporate tax breaks were used for stock buybacks further enriching CEOs rather than investing in companies, workers and communities.
- The middle class tax cut will actually result in higher taxes by 2027.
- Tax incentives and the trade war has caused more jobs to move overseas.
- Lobbyists have been put in charge of health, safety and environmental protections causing dangerous deregulation while increasing corporate profits.
Robert Reich states that “The real recipe for economic growth is to invest in Americans–in their health, education, job training, and infrastructure. But Trumponomics has exploded the deficit, hurt ordinary Americans, and lined the pockets of the wealthy and corporations.”
TRUMP’S POLICIES ARE NOT HELPING ORDINARY AMERICANS WHO MAKE UP 80% OF THE POPULATION!!! VOTE ACCORDINGLY!!!