It’s so ingrained into our being, we are taught from the time we take our first steps that we live in the greatest country on Earth and that we send nice young men and women all over it to make sure that we can teach them democracy as well. And just look how well it’s worked! Look at all of the thriving democracies we’ve created throughout the world without ruthless dictators or puppet regimes beholden to one corporate group or another.

Democracy is the greatest we’re told. Democracy gives each and every one of us a voice, a chance to put our two cents into the political process. To effect (or is affect?) change. There seems to be one little problem that we keep overlooking when it comes to why democracy is destined to be the cause of its own downfall. We’ve already stood by while corporate America has literally taken over the United States government. With SuperPACs and lobbyists, and hell, even going so far as to taking time off from their CEO jobs to become Vice-President of the United States.

The problem with democracy is that the average person isn’t smart enough to understand everything that is important and in play and just how much power the government wields over our everyday lives. Now that’s not a bad thing. Hell, even really smart people would never be able to figure out every aspect of what’s going on in every aspect of our government.

So instead of figuring out a solution that might possibly make things better for all of us, not just for the wealthiest, we just sit back and listen to the soundbites and the talking points and see who looks best in a suit and tie and sounds like someone you’d want to have a beer with.

There’s no oversight, there’s no consequences for doing whatever the hell you want, including starting a war costing untold thousands of lives. Just today the Supreme Court struck down a law that would have put a cap on the amount of money that could be donated to political campaigns. Guess who this benefits the most.

We’ve managed to turn ourselves into a nation that’s started to believe so many of the talking points, talking points made by wealthy people with the platform to make them, that we have a significant amount of people without two nickels to rub together vehemently willing to fight against their own best interest. People who are scared to death that “the poor” (or the poorer to be more exact) are going to take something from them. While we stand by and while the nations top one percent stuff their pockets with profits from our labor.

Listen, I’m smart enough to know that I’m not nearly smart enough to know the answer to this, even if there was just one answer. But until we can come together and realize that what separates us isn’t race or sex or religious beliefs, it’s the haves versus the haves not and right now they’re winning hands down.

Until we can unite, until we can learn to standup and fight for our rights as so many Americans have done in the past. Until we can come to terms with the fact that the people in power, not in politics, I mean the people that control the wealth, don’t look at you as black or white or Asian, Hispanic they look at you as dollar signs. And until we can look at ourselves as compatriots in a common cause then there will always will be a divide that will hold us back from truly taking back the power from the people who have systematically stolen it from us over the past 65 years.

And, unless we can do that, I’m not sure that democracy as we know can succeed. We are already on the cusp of being an all out oligarchy. It’s up to us whether or not we allow it to become full blown or not.

Posted by James Poling

A socialist, tinkerer, thinker, question asker and all around curiosity seeker. If you'd like to reach me you can use the contact link above or email me at jamespoling [at] gmail [dot] com.

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