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Democracy

Races for the Senate, U.S. House, etc. and other issues of national importance.

Democracy

Postby johnfajardohenry » Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:24 pm

Stebben84 wrote:
The bike paths were funded by individuals elected by the people. Don't like it, vote them out. It's called democracy.


Stebben posted this in the VP Rand Paul thread but it seems like we are getting way off topic there and he does raise an interesting point that should be addressed.

He is quite right that we should vote out the people whose policies we do not like. While I support radical, even revolutionary, change, I support doing it at the ballot box. I do not support doing it by any other means. In my experience, virtually all liberals/libertarians take a similar view.

So let us try a thought experiment. Let us say that my best case scenario comes to pass (or worst case depending on POV) Let us say that a Paul, Palin or someone like them gets elected prez.

Let us also suppose that the repos in general and the tea party repos in particular increase their majority in the House and gain 61 seats in the Senate.

They then start slashing the federal govt eliminating departments, agencies and employees, repealing various laws, pushing govt functions from the federal back to the state, local and individual levels and so on.

Perhaps they even cut spending by 50% and implement a flat tax of, say, 10% on all income.

And so on.

I know, I know, it will never happen. What I am posing is strictly a hypothetical. (I can dream, can't I?)

I am assuming that all here would be fine with this. This is what democracy looks like, right? The people have spoken and all that.

After all, if you don't like it, you can always vote them out, right?

I guess my real question is: Should there be any limits to democracy?

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Re: Democracy

Postby Meade » Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:45 pm

johnfajardohenry wrote:Should there be any limits to democracy?

You go first and then I'll give you my answer.
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Re: Democracy

Postby wack wack » Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:46 pm

A society which elects such "leaders" deserves whatever it gets.
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Re: Democracy

Postby Zoti Bemba » Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:04 pm

johnfajardohenry wrote:I guess my real question is: Should there be any limits to democracy?


It seems to me that you are implying a limit by suggesting that democracy is only about elections.
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Re: Democracy

Postby Detritus » Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:13 pm

Yes. See John Stuart Mill, On Democracy. Also see California, effects of Proposition 13 on.
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Re: Democracy

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:15 pm

johnfajardohenry wrote:I am assuming that all here would be fine with this. This is what democracy looks like, right? The people have spoken and all that.


Yes. This is a stupid question. Yet as it was pointed out, we also have referendums, special elections and recalls. These are all part of democracy as well.
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Re: Democracy

Postby fisticuffs » Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:22 pm

This is what democracy looks like, right? The people have spoken and all that.


Doesn't mean you stop fighting for your cause. See Tea Party circa 5 minutes after Obama was sworn in.

Let us say that a Paul, Palin or someone like them gets elected prez.


You think Palin is a Libertarian? She's one step above Snooki. Regardless of your politics the reality of a Palin presidency would be devastating.

Perhaps they even cut spending by 50% and implement a flat tax of, say, 10% on all income.


That would require dipping into our defense budget. Republicans won't let that happen.
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Re: Democracy

Postby Cornbread » Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:17 pm

johnfajardohenry wrote:I guess my real question is: Should there be any limits to democracy?

I would absolutely HATE to have to live in a democracy. Any sane person should.

The good thing about our constitutional republic is we have checks and balances of power built right in and then, say presidents/governors (exec) are limited in what they as individuals can do by the legislature and both by the supreme court.

Of course all of this goes out the window when fascist pigs like obama do their impositions.
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Re: Democracy

Postby peripat » Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:20 pm

So you believe he has virtually unlimited power...too bad he doesn't use it...
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Re: Democracy

Postby Cornbread » Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:41 pm

fisticuffs wrote:Doesn't mean you stop fighting for your cause. See Tea Party circa 5 minutes after Obama was sworn in.

People started to show their public displeasure when spending spiraled upwards to previously unimagined levels. There have been various minor action under the tea party name before, yeah, when republicans were in charge too, but once the obama/pelosi/reid regime got going full bore, then all sorts of previously non-political people started coming out to show their displeasure.

Regardless of your politics the reality of a Palin presidency would be devastating.

Totally silly on so many levels, only a leftist ideologue could find a way to fit that into a rational discussion.
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Re: Democracy

Postby johnfajardohenry » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:33 pm

Zoti Bemba wrote:
johnfajardohenry wrote:I guess my real question is: Should there be any limits to democracy?


It seems to me that you are implying a limit by suggesting that democracy is only about elections.


I would say that the part about elections is more or less correct. Democracy is about how people are self-ruled, mainly by choosing the leaders who will rule them. I suppose this does not have to involve elections but I think generally it does.

So what do you think democracy is about other than elections? (or other means of self-choosing rulers)

We also, in some states, vote directly on various taxes, laws and other issues. In other states, not so much. Citizens of those states rely on the folks they elect to take care of that.

As to whether that implies a limit, I would think it would imply just the opposite. Democracy will result in the people, at least the people who are allowed to vote, being able to vote for anything without limit.

This is what we have in the US. The Constitution protects us by making it very hard for the people to do certain things. For example, if a majority of people decided that all Episcopalians should be stripped of their citizenship and deported, the 1st and other Amendments would make that impossible.

However, if enough people really felt strongly about this, it would be possible to write, pass and ratify and amendment that would permit this.

So I would say we have unlimited democracy in the US but with a bunch of roadblocks to slow things down until cooler heads prevail (hopefully)

What do you think? If we passed an amendment deporting Episcopalians, would it be undemocratic? I am assuming that the Episcopalians would be allowed to vote against it but there would not be enough to stop it.


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Re: Democracy

Postby johnfajardohenry » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:43 pm

To expand a bit on my last post, I would also say that the US is democratic because of state, not federal, constitutions.

There is nothing in the federal constitution giving anyone the right to vote for anything, for example.

There is an indirect right of whoever gets to vote for their state legislature getting to vote for Congressmen/women. (Later to include Senators in the 16th Amendment) but there is no requirement that legislatures be elected. They could be appointed as a few were, or elected by committees from various towns.

The president, or even presidential electors, were never intended to be elected by popular vote. I think 1840 was the first year for that in all states

I am sure that if any state tried to claw back voting rights for electors, Senators or Reps the Supremes would find some penumbras and emanations in the constitution prohibiting it. That cat is out of the bag.

Nor does the federal Constitution guarantee or even mention democracy at a state level. It says "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government,states shall have a republican form of government..."

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Re: Democracy

Postby johnfajardohenry » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:09 pm

You think Palin is a Libertarian?


Yeah I do. But then I have read her book where she both says and demonstrates that she is. I suspect that you feel no need to read it but I'll recommend that you read it anyway.


She's one step above Snooki. Regardless of your politics the reality of a Palin presidency would be devastating.


Keep plucking that chicken, kiddo. Remember how everyone called Bush stupid? Dumb as a post many said.

Yet how much of his program did he manage to accomplish? If you look at what he tried to do and what he actually did, it is a pretty high ratio.

Reagan was another president that everyone called stupid. "Amiable dunce" was one popular phrase. How was his ratio of what he tried to do and what he actually got accomplished?

You probably think Obama is very smart. "Genius" is a term I often hear bandied about. How much of what he has tried to do has he been able to accomplish? If you tote it up, his ratio is probably a lot lower than either Reagan's or Bush's.

Ever see the WC Fields movie where he sits in on a poker game acting like a rube who doesn't know how to play the game? Then proceeds to take the folks who thought he was a sucker? The "White Men Can't Jump" movie has a similar theme. Or go to any pool hall and watch a hustler at work.

While you are laughing at how stupid and incompetent they are you are not only losing your wallet but your pants as well. And you won't even notice.

"Misunderestimate" is a term often associated derisively with Bush. It seems like a pretty good word though. I take it to mean "mistakenly underestimate" It is what many did with Reagan and Bush. Many still do it with the Pauls. You seem to be doing it with Palin.

While you are laughing and not paying attention, they are accomplishing done what they set out to do.

So good luck to you with that chicken. Enjoy yourself.

That would require dipping into our defense budget. Republicans won't let that happen.
[/quote][/quote]

I certainly would not mind cutting our defense budget. Ron Paul has been pretty explicit that this would be one of his first priorities as president.

Obama, on the other hand, just announced Monday that he is going to permanently station another 13,500 troops in Kuwait. How much is that going to cost taxpayers?

John Henry

1912 edited to fix formatting tags
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Re: Democracy

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:33 pm

johnfajardohenry wrote:There is nothing in the federal constitution giving anyone the right to vote for anything, for example.

Because of slavery, it's not in the original. After the Civil War its mentioned more than once. Or don't amendments count?
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Re: Democracy

Postby pjbogart » Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:46 pm

John, did you ever consider that Reagan, Bush and even Walker got things done because they had a legislature willing to work with them?

Do you know the difference between charisma and intelligence?

Do you understand that many people, including some Republicans, would find it hard to take someone seriously after they toasted Sarah Palin's intelligence?
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