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April 27, 2017

THE ABC'S OF DEMOCRACY - and it ends with a "T"

Did you know Ralph Waldo Emerson customarily greeted Henry David Thoreau by asking, "What has become clearer since last we met?" I didn't, but it seemed an appropriate way to begin this month's posting.

"What has become clearer since last we met?" In a word, lots. The past weeks I have intentionally watched too much television news, listened to internet and radio chatter and read dozens of financial and business magazines. Why? I wanted to be clear that the garble and ridiculous chitchat I was constantly bombarded with was being passed off as news that was not random but intentional. If what I was being fed as truth was indeed the truth, then America is in deep, deep trouble. A country sliding into an abyss of darkness like the Roman Empire, Mayans, and civilizations long gone must have experienced before their demise. Did they heed the warnings as the earth shifted from under their lives of plenty, or like us, did their egotistical, self-centered opinions of themselves blind them to the pain inflicted on the earth and the people who live on this magnificent planet?

It used to piss me off when the Tea Party and their ridiculous, obnoxious, misinformed leaders shouted, " I want my America back." It was disconcerting, frightening, irritating, hurtful, debatable and puzzling. Were they talking about the sixties America I grew up in that was segregated, constantly mired in political battles to legislate the inequalities suffered by women, minorities, immigrants, gays, and the poor? Were they talking about Watergate, the era of Reagan economics that still rewards the haves and continually takes from those who have nothing. That America is one I fought, protested and marched against so it would be better for all children.

So I am compelled to speak about our America and its dying democracy without the poisonous rhetoric that breathes life into the corpse of injustice that so many have died and still fight for.

I grew up taught to recite the Lord's Prayer, National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. I hated the ritual then, as I do now, since the words pertained not to the disenfranchised, poor, or generations of people whose ancestors build this country, but the privileged few, who wrote the laws. When I questioned my parents about why we should honor a flag that represented those who dishonored us, I was told, "These things take time" I was told I would pledge the flag and I would honor my country no matter how far from the ideals of democracy it had stumbled off course.

Off course is an understatement, daily I am subjected to the mean, hateful, carefully worded disrespectful descriptions about the first Black President of these United States. So many of us are proud that for one moment in time, we are a better nation, we are worthy of the millions who had gave their lives for a better America. Was November 2008 just a blip in our history? Race, racism and racist. What other reasons could their be for such hatred for one of our own? Spare me the excuse that lack of jobs, housing, and our involvement in wars across the world has caused such nastiness.

If America is one of the greatest Democracies on the planet, why do our actions, words, and deeds appear to be Fascist?

Fascist/fascism according to Webster's Dictionary means, right-wing dictatorship, corporate, state, corporatism, autocracy, police state, etc.

Now that sounds like the America I know and love. How can we keep referring to ourselves as a Democracy when the way we appear as a nation is anything but? To be fair I looked up Democracy. I have taken the liberty of using Webster's definition of each letter of the word Democracy to create an acronym. So here it is letter by letter, Democracy;

Democracy; government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system;

Empathy; the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another;

(When did the homeless, veterans, elderly, children, unemployed, abused and imprisoned get left out of this definition? Most importantly why?)

Morals; conforming to the rules of right conduct; principles or habits with respect to right or wrong conduct;

(Does lying, misleading, misrepresenting the truth, trading money with lobbyists and special interest groups and breaking and ignoring the law that purportedly protects the innocent until proven guilty seem moral to you?)

Organization; a group of persons organized for some and or work; the state or manner of being organized;

(First it was 100,000 Air Traffic Controllers that we watched fired under the Reagan Administration, now its an all out assault on teachers, police, white and blue collar workers fighting for Collective Bargaining. Be careful, you may be next.)

Christian: Of, pertaining, or derived Jesus Christ or his teachings;

Christianity: The State of being a Christian; Conformity to the Christian religion or to its belief or practices;

(This one really makes me sad. I shudder to think what Jesus thinks when we loudly proclaim "What would Jesus do?" I don't know, but I do doubt it wouldn't be anything similar to how we are expressing Jesus.)

Religiosity; the quality of being religious; piety; devoutness; affected or excessive devotion to religion;

(We are so busy gripping our bibles and reciting scripture that we have forgotten it is an action not a word.)

Americans; of or pertaining to the United States of American or its inhabitants; an American citizen; a native or inhabitant of the Western Hemisphere;

(BIRTHERS have given new meaning to this word. I stand, even if alone, and say to them loudly "YOU go back to where your ancestors originated from and I guarantee you wouldn't be an American.")

Consensus; majority of opinion; general agreement or concord; harmony;

(It is for the people, by the people - and that includes ALL people.

Yawp or Yup to utter a loud, harsh cry; to yelp, squawk, or bawl; to talk noisily and foolishly or complainingly;

(The Tea Party, Glenn Beck, Palin and most recently Donald Trump are the Poster children for this word. It's a shame isn't it?)


It seems appropriate since we have become a nation of bullies, the greedy, thieves, liars and lovers of things versus people that a letter needs to be added to democracy. Do you recognize the following words?

Terrorist a person, usually a member of a group, who uses or advocates terrorism;

Terrorism the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce especially for political purposes; the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization;

Take in the meanings and think of our actions towards our own citizens, other nations, and people who can't defend themselves against our limitless Defense Budget and what you get is DemocracyT.

After you have objectively thought about democracy, fascism and terrorism, decide who and what you are. If your life reflects anything but democracy, simply get in line behind the other lost Americans.

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