October 17, 2012

Democracy in the US? Not so much.

You know, we're supposed to be all about democracy here in the US--about liberty, freedom of choice, and open electoral process and all that good stuff.  I remember back in 2000 when Ralph Nader was on the ballot.  Do you all remember that?  Well, people can think whatever they want about Nader as a person, or his politics or whatever.  Fine.  But something happened back then that made me quite a bit more cynical about our electoral process: Nader was excluded from even trying to attend the first presidential debate.  The Commission on Presidential Debates did eventually apologize to him--two years later.  Like that does any good.

So, more of the same is happening this year: Green Party candidate Jill Stein was arrested for trying to attend last night's debate.  And she apparently spent 8 hours handcuffed to a chair under police supervision.  Is this our democratic process at work?  Read more about this on Democracy Now.

Here's what Stein said just before she was arrested (from the Democracy Now link):
Well, we’re here to stand our ground. We’re here to stand ground for the American people, who have been systematically locked out of these debates for decades by the Commission on Presidential Debates. We think that this commission is entirely illegitimate; that if—if democracy truly prevailed, there would be no such commission, that the debates would still be run by the League of Women Voters, that the debates would be open with the criteria that the League of Women Voters had always used, which was that if you have done the work to get on the ballot, if you are on the ballot and could actually win the Electoral College by being on the ballot in enough states, that you deserve to be in the election and you deserve to be heard; and that the American people actually deserve to hear choices which are not bought and paid for by multinational corporations and Wall Street.
I think she makes some pretty good points.  Meanwhile, democracy steamrolls forward.

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