A Conversation for The Constitution of the United States of America

"True" democracy?

Post 21

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

Gee, really? Because that hasn't been pointed out 15 times in this thread already.

"True" democracy?

Post 22


Actually, with the exception of the first three posts in this thread which attempted to settle the debate on what the United States, in fact, is, there wasn't a whole lot more on the topic after that, other than a minor debate on the meaning of 'true democracy'. And I figured it wouldn't hurt to throw a link or two in there being that no one else had.

But you're right. I shouldn't waste time with redundancy. I should use my time instead to contribute more substantial posts, like you have here. smiley - erm

"True" democracy?

Post 23

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

Well, if you prefer to beat a dead horse, be my guest.

"True" democracy?

Post 24



If you prefer to police my posts, by all means, knock yourself out. smiley - winkeye

"True" democracy?

Post 25


Okay, here we go.

The United States as a whole is not a democracy and was never intended to be. It is instead a federal republic composed of 50 constituent states which, theoretically at least, voluntarily joined the union in order to pool their resources, have free trade, common defense, etc.

Here's where things become a bit more complicated. Each state has its own constitution and set of laws. While these are often quite similar, there are differences as well. For instance, although the US as a whole has no official language (though English serves as its lingua franca), English is official in California while it shares equal footing with Spanish in New Mexico.

As for "true democracy," that exists in differing levels between the states too. States which allow their constitutions to be ammended through what is called "initiative and referandum" tend to be more democratic than those that don't. The way "I&R" works is that any citizen can come up with an idea for a new law, and if they collect enough valid signatures on a petition, this new initiative makes it to the ballot for the next statewide general election, where it is subject to popular referandum.

I hope that I have helped to either clear things up a bit or make them more confusing. Cheers!!!

"True" democracy?

Post 26


Blatherskite has a good point. I hear 2 years of public service (military or otherwise) is a requirement in Germany. It has a way of binding everyone in the nation together. They all share a singular common experience. Better still, that common experience is in the service of the public good.

It makes people more likely to get along with each other, and can make them more active, involved, responsible citizens. I bet it's a lot easier to talk politics in a country like that and actually gain something from the conversation. Most of the time I lean toward the Libertarian end of the spectrum, but I am definitely moderate enough to think required public service for all is a great idea.

Americans--heck, anyone in a technologically advanced country--are isolated constantly. We experience culture alone, in front of screens; Americans travel about alone in their personal automobiles. The Internet has helped the isolation phenomenally. Now there are many more things to do that don't even require us to leave the house. We can live our whole lives in one place and never know the names of our neighbors.

"True" democracy?

Post 27


Think about how bad it would be if it were a TRUE democracy...just Imagine if all decisions were truely based on majority rule. its a pretty scary thought. good thing it is a constitutional republic, to insure the minority has a say in it all....ya rightsmiley - bubbly

"True" democracy?

Post 28

Phoenician Trader

Athens (during its short period of "true democracy") was run by a culture akin to today's tabloid headlines. When someone had a son killed in battle they would call the citizenry together and in righteous indignation vote for the General responsible to suffer the ultimate sacrifice too. The constitution regarding fair trials could be suspended by a vote and, in such circumstances, it was.

Thus every battle reversal was accompanied by a death sentence and formal curse on the general. Most men of ability spent a lot of time living in exile.

Athens lost the war with the Spartans comprehensively.

smiley - lighthouse

PS: Mind you, a very short time after recovering from the Spartan's imposed oligarchy, they cleaned up the moral tone of the city by doing things like sentencing Socretes to suicide. It was living through this that lead Plato to write his Republic and the US to write the Bill of Rights.

"True" democracy?

Post 29


Here's a truely "American" idea for "true" "democracy."

Any American reading this knows the significance of April 15. That's when the 1040 form is due. For those of you who aren't American, the 1040 ("ten-forty") is the form you fill out every year to determine how much you owe on your federal income taxes, or how much the IRS (Internal Revenue "Service") owes you because it withheld too much from your paychecks (paycheques) over the year. We Americans love to b***h about taxes, the IRS, and how complicated the 1040 is. In fact, our Revolutionary War erupted as a direct result from too much b***hing about taxes.

Anyway, here's the proposal. The 1040 should have a "voting" page. This should consist of a checklist of all of the programs that receive federal funding. If you want a program to receive some of your tax dollars, give it a checkmark, if not, leave it blank.

Okay, this is more plutocratic than democratic, but I tried.

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