If you can keep it

July 1st, 2019 by Ken

As a child of the World War 2 veterans, I grew up in the time when American was the dominate power in the world.  And those of us who lived in this country believed it was our responsibility to spread our democracy and democratic ideals around the world.  We were going to re-build the world in our image.

Now, half a century later, this idea is under attack from several directions.  And, what we grew up to believe has been shattered by attacks from those who only cautiously accepted the belief of “the American Dream.”

We grew up with the myths of America.  The concept that immigrants came to this country,  learned our language worked hard , believed in education as the pathway to acceptance, and became naturalized American citizens.  By the third generation their children  were “American.”

The idea of American democracy  depended on everyone accepting the dream even if they hadn’t benefited from it. 

Now, that myth of the American dream is being pulled apart from dozens of different directions, by groups reminding us that they have still been left out of the dream.  Because of cultural, religious and racial biases in our society they hadn’t realized their fair share.  Groups that had been silent were now speaking out.   Despite the fact that most Americans – now –  recognize the inequities of our society and feel that major progress had been made in overcoming those  shortfalls; some members of those disadvantaged groups have a different opinion.

Blaming their lack of financial and social progress on “the establishment” they have taken over the Democratic party and are using their new power to push for more and greater government involvement in overcoming their lack of progress.

This new push to overthrow the democratic and representative government we currently have dates from the presidency of Barack Obama.  The election of the first black president of the United States was a signal, that power to change their status and condition came from the ballot box.   When their hand-picked successor was defeated in 2016, their anger over-flowed into rage and hatred.

Believing that democracy had failed them, they began flirting with socialism  or at least starting to look at socialist ideas.  Only through a new concept of government could their needs and wishes be fulfilled many thought.

Our form of government is a combination of democracy and republicanism.  The Founding Fathers were afraid of pure democracy because they knew that demigods can sway the masses by offering them bread and circuses.

So, they built in safeguards to assure that American democracy would not go the way of other revolutions.  Giving power to the states, creating a blind judiciary, creating two houses of elected representatives and establishing a presidency to oversee the implementations of that government.  Those they thought would assure that American democracy would continue.

Now that form of government is under attack by 23 presidential candidates and special interest groups of all kind.  Whether or not our present form of government can survive is in the hands of those who vote.

It’s not assured that we will survive in our current form.

After the constitutional convention created a new government for the new country, Benjamin Franklin was asked by a woman “What form of government do we have?”   Franklin replied, ” A democracy madam, if you can keep it.” 

Posted in The Real News

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