I Need to Define “Democracy” for Myself

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~  by Sha’Tara]

I don’t remember ever hearing the word “democracy” bandied about more than in the last couple of months. Ever notice that the more you hear a word, the less meaning it has?  So let’s start from basic: a dictionary definition, so we’re all on the same playing field.

Democracy | Definition of Democracy by Merriam-Webster  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/democracy

democracies. 1 a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.

I would imagine that most people would accept that definition, and most people would promptly go back to watching TV after checking the fridge for a beer or a half bottle of wine (which I’m sorely tempted to do right now!).  And in the case of my southern neighbours, most of them would rather not be reminded that their particular belief in democracy made them vote in, and elect, probably the least presidential character imaginable.  I’m not saying it’s going to be all bad… well it probably will so let’s not fool ourselves, but what I’m saying is, something’s seriously awry with a system that allows such a thing to happen, especially when it didn’t just happen, it was “pending” for months.

Yes, for several months, the people of the democracy saw a humanoid caricature, essentially a cartoon character, strut upon a stage ostensibly reserved for real people (in fact so reserved it is that a couple of real people wanting to seriously represent the people weren’t even allowed on that stage) clowning about and saying things that are usually only seen in cheap, crass and gross low budget comedies and tawdry TV sitcoms.  I’m saying months of non-stop public appearances that should have convinced any Earthian with even two brain cells to rub together that here was something to avoid as you would a cave-in on the freeway.  I mean, hello?  You just don’t go there.  You laugh a few times with the cartoon, then you go watch the Simpsons (I don’t watch TV so assuming that’s still running?).

But that’s not what happened.  With a *three-foot long nose still growing and sprouting leaves, this Pinocchio got enough popular votes to get itself elected president of the nation.  And already, typical of such soul-less and heartless characters it’s already plunging itself deep into the political establishment and getting ready to feather its own nest.  I wonder if any will notice that this emperor has no clothes?  I wonder if anyone will remember you can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear?  I wonder if anyone will realize that putting a gold crown on the head of a pig and sticking a scepter between it’s front feet doesn’t make it a king?

Well, these are the obvious questions, but they do not answer my question which is, what exactly is a democracy?  According to president Lincoln, the US democracy was to be a government of the people, by the people, for the people… in perpetuity – Gettysburg address.  So there you have it, and I think I’m getting closer to what I’m looking for: the difference between a real democracy, and one in name only.  Lincoln gives us this difference: government OF the people, BY the people, FOR the people.  Don’t they teach that in American schools?  I’m not American and I’ve known this Gettysburg address line since grade school… and I didn’t even have to salute a flag or sing God Bless America, and still I remembered it.

I don’t vote.  I haven’t done so since 1980, deliberately and with purpose aforethought.  I’m a conscientious objector.  If they made me vote, I’d spoil the ballot.  Call it a form of satyagraha.  Non-violent non cooperation.  And now that I’ve defined the concept of living in a democracy, I can explain why I don’t vote; why I cannot vote.  Before someone jumps up with, “voting is your sacred duty” or some such brain dead claim, let me say that for voting to be a sacred duty, that duty must be to a sacred concept.  Otherwise it cannot be sacred, can it.  Is the concept I’d be voting in, sacred?  After following the presidential “race” can that question even be raised?  A “democratic” foreign policy explained in six words by Hillary Clinton: “We came, we saw, he died!” (followed by loud laughter) and endless racist and misogynist comments by Trump the pussy groper, sacred?

Two things then I can say that would make a democracy legitimate for me.  One has to do with who gets elected.  Let’s see, government BY the people.  OK, that’s clear enough.  You don’t need a campaign and millions of dollars wasted while children go hungry, on election day every legitimate citizen of the state goes to the polls and votes for only one person: herself or himself or theirself (if you’re a trans like myself!) and predictably, the result is that everyone becomes president.  Everyone is the government.  And also predictably, that government is going to be of the people and for the people.  Well maybe it wouldn’t be a democracy any longer, it would become a peopleocracy.  In such a “system” I would have no problem voting as I couldn’t pick a candidate who is smarter, richer, whiter or blacker, older or younger, sicker or healthier,  maler or femaler than myself.  If I voted for a slimeball, guess who that would be?  I’m not saying the Earthian human race is ready or able to operate such a simple system, but it’s the only way to have a democracy that is so in more than words and emotionally sentimental outbursts.

Second thing, bringing it much closer to home.  In a more real democracy, and in a situation such as the US is experiencing after electing to shoot itself squarely in its collective foot, in their two-party system, when one of the candidates win, the other automatically becomes vice-president.  There is no logic in the winner picking some ninny yes-man from his own side.  He didn’t get all the votes, did he?  In fact in this case he got less votes than the other candidate but through rigged elections (which of course he’s now not about to contest) he got spot number one.  OK, I don’t like Candidette #2 either, certainly no more than Candidate #1, but by virtue of received popular votes, she gets the vice presidency.  That way the votes aren’t wasted, everybody wins and all the representatives have to do is decide on how their proposed policies, agendas and changes get implemented, by popular referendum if necessary.  Of course I’m aware that at the level of willingness to cooperate that we’re dealing with here, they may go for the jugular and kill each other.  I don’t see that as any great loss, do you?

(*Reference is to the story of the wooden puppet, Pinocchio.  When he lied his nose grew so everyone would know he was lying.)




37 thoughts on “I Need to Define “Democracy” for Myself

  1. Pingback: I Need to Define “Democracy” for Myself | Tales from the Conspiratum

  2. Lisa R. Palmer

    It is messed up, isn’t it? And the violence us “losers” feared has already begun. Nazi America has come of age, with all the rancor, horror and hate we feared would happen…

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Monarchy would be stepping backwards. Had that worked people would not have gone into revolutionary violence to get rid of it. No, there is one more step people will have to take, and learn how to “govern” themselves in it, and that’s self empowerment. I know what everyone says, it can’t happen. OK, fine, it can’t happen. In that case, either step back into the autocratic rule of kings, or theocratic rule of priests, or more failed democracies. Of all the people on earth, who do I trust? I trust me.

      1. Lisa R. Palmer

        And I trust both of us to be who and what we are. But being the emotional one, I still grieve for all of those who are lost. I cannot and will not interfere, but I will witness their journey with real tears in my eyes…

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        “…with real tears in my eyes…” In Frank Herbert’s Dune novel, the desert people, the Fremen, never shed tears – that being wasted body water. So when they see an off-worlder shedding tears over a dead friend, they call it giving water to the dead – the greatest gift a Fremen could give if they had functioning tear ducts. Instead, the Fremen do the opposite: they take the dead body and put it through a water reclamation cistern, squeezing all the water from it. Even in death, their dead serve the tribe.
        You may be “giving water to the dead” and in doing so, may be draining your own supply of “water” only for emotional satisfaction. OK, I admit, I’m more Fremen than Earthian. My parents used to comment that I was heartless because I did not shed tears when everyone else did. Funny that! I just refuse to get emotional since to me emotions are waste energy. If someone is physically dead, then s/he is dead. Today it was Leonard Cohen’s turn and so be it. At 82 I’d say he had a good long run, longer than that of most entertainers who abuse their bodies with drugs and parties when younger. Yes, I like many of his lyrics and ballads but I don’t need LC to continue enjoying, or using them. Thousands of innocents are condemned to death every day, and who mourns them? Is a Sub-Saharan child worth less than an entertainer? Apparently. But I don’t join in the hypocrisy. Instead I will choose sorrow as a response. It won’t show what I feel but that is of no importance. What I think is what is of prime importance. As of this moment, should I even engage sorrow for Americans – as a collective? Rationally, no. Based on the set-up and their belief system, they got exactly what their system allowed them to create for themselves. Choice, and no mistake, and since they express as a collective, but through individual choice, some win, some lose. Let’s remember that the “winners” this week have been the “losers” for a long time. Now they want what they’ve been denied and right or wrong has nothing to do with it. Political correctness never fixed anything, it only suppressed and hid. Sooner or later, that’s got to blow. Simple physics.

      3. Lisa R. Palmer

        Excellent point, Sha’Tara… It is what it is. Simple. And I’m just passing through the darkness, maybe because I can. Already I feel lighter, so either the “death grip” I was experiencing has lessened, or my detachment has grown stronger. Either way, I am relieved…

        Thanks for keeping me company through this last week. Your compassion was definitely shining through… 🙂

    2. Sha'Tara Post author

      I don’t watch news, so haven’t heard about backlash from the election except for those people in New York protesting at a Trump hotel. When it comes to politics, religion, money and sex, people will show their absolute worst beastiality. I for one have no illusions about “mankind” evolving into a kind, loving, caring, understanding, giving species; that’s for the New Age books. We’ve pushed every kind of natural support or power beyond redemption. We’re now in the crucible to be crushed to death, or to be reborn into a new spirit/mind species that will be empathetic but the numbers reborn will be few compared to the masses that now try to survive against all odds and as yet do not realize there is no survival except by killing others for their space, food, water and perhaps even for their bodies to eat. The Earthians have been driving headlong into this global dystopia since civilization began, and looks like we caught the short straw: the end of the cycle. Do your thing Trump, Trumpers, Trumpettes, Trumpites and Trumperists.

      1. Lisa R. Palmer

        I don’t have to watch the news this time, as its happening in my own backyard. In the 2 days following the election, several gay pride flags were burned here, some just minutes from my daughter’s home. A friend of a co-worker was beaten in the streets while her attackers yelled, “dirty fucking immigrant!” A black baby doll was hung from a noose outside a church in Buffalo, not an hour away. And another co-worker’s friend in Kentucky reported that the day following the election, people there who did not have a Trump sign in their yard found KKK notices attached to their front doors.

        The first several incidents happened here in NY, and our state voted against Trump! My daughter has 2 half-Hispanic children living in a predominantly black neighborhood, as do I. Many of my friends are gay, transgendered, pagan, Muslim or foreign, just to name a few of the labels that apply. I, myself, am not Christian.

        I do not fear a Trump presidency so much as I fear his followers, who now have gained complete control in our country, owning both houses of Congress, most of the state governorships, and soon the Presidency and the Supreme Court. The radical Christian Right has fulfilled its goal of complete control, declaring its own form of jihadism against the people, first us, then, no doubt, the rest of the world…

        Perhaps the world at large could express its compassion best by destroying us before they consolidate their power, and turn their attention outward…

        So speaks the darkness within me…

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        The world won’t need to destroy “America” – it has been self-destructing for some time now – pick a start date: McCarthy era? Vietnam debacle? Reaganomics? Inception of NATO? 9-11 and the Security State? Pushing destabilization of democratic regimes not friendly enough to US based corporations? Bankster bailout of 2008? Expansion of wars in the Middle East and Africa? It doesn’t matter which one you pick, anyone will do. From each one, a die was cast and each one was a loser throw for Americans. The “Union” is going to disintegrate through secession and there will be civil war. Depending on how soon the military recognizes the impossibility of maintaining its stranglehold upon the entire world and withdraws to the home mainland to avoid unwinnable conflict and save face, civil war could be averted for a while, or it may strike suddenly and without any warning.

      3. Lisa R. Palmer

        This response actually makes me smile, and I do not even know why. You are right on point, of course. And there is not a single word here I disagree with… That actually feels good… 🙂

    3. Sha'Tara Post author

      Those negative traits, so “human” (not just American as history amply demonstrates) were (are) always there. Sometimes they rule the surface and at other times they are suppressed by political correctness, or a period of satiety that leads to more acceptance. Now that the lean years have come to America and are not going away (to think so is delusional) the “terrible” things of the mind are going to resurface, often in the most unexpected places, and those who had their hate suppressed will turn on those who were having a good time during the suppression. They will turn on things like health care, education, women’s and LGBT rights – it’s how they rule. I saw this coming to America thirty or so years ago during the catastrophic Reagan decade that Americans thought was such a great time. I remember writing an essay for some publication titled, “America, what have you become?” and essentially comparing Washington the Babylon in Revelation. When I read of the “coming out” of the Trumpists this week I think to myself, I hate being right. Now’s the time for detachment and self empowerment for those individuals who want to live their own choice of life in the midst of the madness.

  3. ecstacy49

    Haha!! Democracy has become a game and play of power. You see all the money it takes just to get elected can be used for many useful purposes. The humorous thing here is democracy is worst in multi-party system countries like India. I completely agree with your explanation of democracy. What is the use of being world’s absolute Democratic country and then being world’s most corrupted countries. Solutions to Democratic problems are many but their implementation is none. It’s better to have a monarchy rule rather following Democracy,at least people were secure of their justice. Democracy may be the bestest way of running a state but examples are before our eye and fit into our brains.

  4. We come from dreams ~

    What I find to be ludicrous is the American phobia over socialism. To most Americans, socialism = communism = Joe Stalin = no more freedom. The only thing which Americans have ever been free to do is reserved for those white males who can out-lie, out-steal, and out-murder those who get in their way. The rest of us are slaves and fodder for industry and the military. Yet, we have many socialist principles which were put into law: women’s rights, minimum wages, racial amd sexual equality / freedom. These laws are generally disregarded by the white dudes running things. Meanwhile, in truly socialist countries like Sweden, there is free medical care, free transportation, free lots of things. It’s willingly paid for by taxes. Yes, they have their corrupt people also, but it’s better than what we’re stuck with. No form of government actually works, but what we have now is an anti-democracy.

    1. Phil Huston

      So your answer, as it pertains to general racism, is that it’s okay to hate all “white dudes?” Aristotelian logic combined with blanket hatred makes this commentary somehow above the muck because of some warped “my hate and racism is acceptable because of the target” bullshit? Freedom means freedom to hate, selectively? Excuse me, I must have missed that day in enlightened civics. I think I’ll go hate the guy oj the corner because his sprinkler screws up the dust on my car, and by extension hate everyone who has a sprinkler system because they all have to suck. My mantra will “All sprinkler dudes suck!” I think I’ll go sit on his yard with assign, break his windows, set fire to his oak tree. Just so he knows “sprinkler dudes” should know their place.

      Ignorance isn’t funny, people.

      1. We come from dreams ~

        Nowhere did I say that I hated anyone or anything. “My country” has always been run by plutocrats and has never been a “free country.” I don’t like it; and unlike Rimbaud, I will not stop shouting, or writing. Nor will I ever be politically correct when I call out thieves, liars and murderers. What should I say, that Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton have expanded notions of truth? That, by having their finger on the nuclear trigger will solve a lot of problems if they play it that way? Or that the $250 million dollars that miraculously appeared in the Clinton’s bank accounts was a gratuity from Mr. Putin?

        I’ve lived most of my life in an urban area, not what you would call even middle class. Hatred gets you nowhere except the morgue in that environment. The fragile peace that has maintained between the police, the decent criminals and various racial and ethnic groups for decades on my watch is likely to be incinerated in the days ahead. I don’t like that either.

      2. Phil Huston

        Be sure the fire department leaves all the “white dudes” in the station house when fools set fire to neighborhoods to make a “point.” I agree with you, mind your racial rhetoric before it bites you in the ass is all I’m saying. The lunacy and inadequate performance theater of the American political system is an equal opportunity employer. Call out a system, call out a person. Call out a race and you’re no better than the worst of them. I hear you. I disagreed with how you said it, nothing more.

        Check this. It would really suck if all the “ghetto dudes” out there got pissed off and set fire to the world and messed it all up for the reasonable people who would like to blame it on all the “white dudes.” See? Maybe I should write my congressman. Dear “Mexican dude…” Picking up what I’m laying down here, “angry dude/dudette?” Be negative, complain all you want. But be specific. And find a solution.

      3. We come from dreams ~

        Perhaps we might get to know each other better. Honestly, all I know about you is what I’ve read of your comments here at Sha’Tara’s blog; often cogent and to the point. I don’t follow people so that my “following” swells in return. However, I’ll add you to see what you’re about!

        I know that there has been a lot of idiocy across America, whites and blacks and Hispanics, Asians and now, Muslims, reacting badly to the social climate here, “punishing” each other by setting fires, drive-by shootings. Where I am, we try to prevent that stuff. I’d mentioned “decent criminals” in my response, so I’ll start there. What’s a “decent criminal?” Drug dealers who stick to the good stuff like weed, and to a lesser extent, Ecstacy (MDMA). Heroin and cocaine are here, but there is limited activity; crack dealers are hunted down by the police and crooks alike. Prostitutes (of both sexes) ply their trade and are let alone as long as they are free from disease and give a good bang for the buck. Pimps are given a warning to get out of town, then beaten if they don’t. There is plenty of illegal gambling and it rarely involves violence. One of the reasons being, the police are known to gamble, smoke weed, and pay for a hooker at times. This understanding was worked out long before I showed up in 1962, looking for – and getting – weed. Over the years I have more than once brokered a truce between warring gang factions. When the Bloods and Crips moved in some 15 years ago, we worked with the police to get them busted. They were all about shooting and raping. One night I brought a black man, a Viet Nam war vet, to an abandoned three story house which was surrounded by the police. The man inside had committed some kind of atrocity on his family. The Viet Nam vet ran a gambling hell and I was asked to bring him to the “crime scene.” He was given a bazooka; the police got on the megaphones and told the guy to surrender – or else. He didn’t, snarling out all kinds of abuse. A moment later and the house was no more.

        My solution is to trade on my cred to keep the city safe. Crooked politicians – and we have ’em – aren’t in my arena; that’s another guy. The crooks don’t stay in office for very long, they get booted, and sometimes, time behind bars. The police police themselves and are good at it; not perfect, but good. Psychos get kicked off the force, as do those who think that Harvey Keitel in the “Bad Lieutenant” is a great role model.

        I’d also said that the fragile peace which we have is likely to be incinerated in the days ahead. Why? There is already pressure to do heavy surveillance on the Muslims here, making things tough for them. This is coming not only from the state but from the feds. Add incendiary broadcasts by the new president and the media, and you have the makings of a disaster.

      4. Sha'Tara Post author

        I’m enjoying this discussion, so I hope you guys aren’t waiting for me to put my paddle in – I think you’re doing just fine… and carry on, if you so wish, or use your own blogs, doesn’t matter, I’ll get to follow the comments either way. Nice to see intelligence rubbing against itself – never enough of that. 🙂

      5. We come from dreams ~

        Oh, hello! I’m enjoying and I hope that Phil Huston is also. Since I don’t know everything, I always learning something new. This time from someone new to me.

    2. Sha'Tara Post author

      Sorry Roy (or Ceannt or Sara?) I overlooked your comment in the rush of work, over-blogging and (fill in some excuses for me, please?) It’s a great comment, “on point” as Lisa would say. The phobia you mention is a historical stream of propaganda designed to keep the elites on top and in control. The whole point, the only point, is to get the plebes to fight each other in the streets over concepts they know absolutely nothing about, then laugh all the way to the bank. Of course for the scam to work, they have to periodically change the headlines: “Anarchists!” “Emancipators!” “Communists!” “Illegal Immigrants!” “Terrorists!” “Drug addicts!” “Queers!” “Pagans!” “Atheists!” There, nine labels that define the 20th and first decades of the 21st Centuries resulting in fear, anger, hate, and endless violence against completely innocent strangers. It works because the sheeple are forever lining up for their doses of statutory ignorance provided by another scam: public education which all of the sheeple’s little lambs are mandated to participate in. What’s a wonder is the amazing resilience of the deeper human mind that somehow manages to survive this onslaught and in some cases, comes out of these insane asylums still able to wonder at the beauty of nature of the truth of life as it could be outside the Matrix.

  5. Phil Huston

    Any time any of us mints an amalgam of finger pointing in the “all” vein the rest of our argument(s) is obviated by its presence. We shouldn’t kill off any potential allies by throwing blanket judgements around, because the fabric of modern social change needs to be a patchwork, not a solid color. Gloom and doom and fear mongering will net gloom and doom and fear. If we stand up with a message that’s over the noise floor of anger and blame, we’ve done the best we can. Make a difference every day. Grab the moaners and groaners and angry destroyers by the belt, yank them up and say “NO MORE!” Brothers and sisters. One planet, one day.

    Simple is harder than it looks.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      We need to be reminded, and remind ourselves, daily of such truth. Thank you very much for expressing it so… well. Your comment also made me like being on WordPress that much more.

  6. polymath0

    It disgusts me so much that I can hardly bear it. I should strengthen the thought that the democracy being a majority of the popular vote would still have placed Clinton as president (she has about half a million more votes than Trump), but according to a recent study America is not a democracy. Now, America is truly an oligarchy, since that is how most decisions are made in this country, by a small number of people and not the masses. Still, that so many people supported this beast is completely beyond me.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Having played at politics in the past, there is a thing called “the protest vote” that wily political candidates can figure out and learn to exploit. Trump knew how to do that; how to say the right things to get the “right” people to vote for him, but not for him, rather against elitist lying Clinton and hypocritical Obama, i.e, against a Dem establishment so full of its own bullshit it became much like monarchies of the past who mocked people when they protested their exploitation and poverty. Trump’s ace in the hole? He didn’t have to defend his political track record, having none. His personal foibles, well that wasn’t enough to turn voters against him, however much MSM wanted to send that message. OK, so now you probably have a greater national problem, but at least it may cause such an upsurge of discontent that it could overthrow the DC/Wall Street cabal, the … (OK, here they are, take your pick:)
      Oligarchy= rule by the few
      Cryptocracy= rule by secrecy
      Kleptocracy= rule by thieves
      Plutocracy= rule by the rich
      Meritocracy= rule according to merit
      Patriarchy= rule by males
      Theocracy= rule by priests
      Pathocracy= rule by people w/personality disorder, i.e., sociopaths
      All of the above?

      A Christian minister once expounded the virtues of Christianity to Gandhi. His reply was, “Sounds like a great idea, someone should try it.” When someone says “democracy” to me, I have the same response. The great illusion is believing in “the idea” is the same as seeing it in action.

      1. polymath0

        I understand the protest vote, and I have respected people who voted for a third party, no one, a write in, or even themselves. I respect that, because at least they followed their morals. To vote Trump as a move “against Hillary” or “against the system” is lazy and lacking in decency.

        It is true that when things really do fall apart in countries, they often come back stronger and more liberal. But I don’t want to chance the hurt. I don’t want violence or destruction, and I think there is always a better way.

        Anyway, you know all of this. Thanks for your posts, and as always thanks for your thoughtful responses.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      I thought so too. Besides, there are so many similarities between politics and major league sports, why not use the same “first draft pick” choice rule? And it does make sense, if the goal is to “unite the country” – which of course us jaded types know it isn’t but… And now you have California and Oregon drafting secession papers. Are we witnessing the downfall of the empire? Should be interesting to see what happens to BC, Canada if it becomes squeezed between secessionist states of California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska and the start of another US civil war? You can bet they are going to want that “54-40 or fight” pre-war of 1812 territorial border back. The current border is the 49th parallel. By the way, the US lost the war of 1812 to Canada and we burned down their White House… hehehehehehe… OK, so we had help from His Majesty’s Royal navy but still, pretty good show, boys… Trying to imagine British Columbia as another Vietnam or Afghanistan quagmire for US hegemonic “manifest destiny.” Better stop here, have a coffee, chill…

      1. We come from dreams ~

        May I refer you to that map of the US I posted a while ago, showing how the country will be carved up? I’ve been saying there will be secessions since 1992…..

  7. A writer from the East

    Love this post and well said, I need to define democracy for myself. Too bad BIG BROTHER has its own version shoved down the throat, smells Nazi, heY no that’s 21 century peace and democracy.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Ah yes. Well, we need to become increaasingly self-empowered so we can leave “Big Brother” minding the homestead with no one to help him.


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