Thom, PLEASE Stop Lecturing Us On "Democracy"

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Pierpont
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Please Thom stop lecturing us about "democracy". YOU are on record supporting both our antidemocratic federal system and our dysfunctional if not braindead two party system.

For instance YOU are on record supporting the concept of the Electoral College that gave us George Bush... a candidate REJECTED by the People. Bush was IMPOSED on the US by an antidemocratic Star Chamber called the EC. US (and World) history was changed for the worst AGAINST the will of the American People. But since you can't find it in yourself to critique the Framers of the Constitution, you blame the USSC. Yes they acted despicably in Bush v Gore. But according to your views, it would have bene fine if Bush won Florida by say 5000 votes instead of 517... there was NO recount, yet STILL lost the national vote 500,000? It's that Bush victory that set in motion the disaster of the past 12 years. It's that Bush victory that consolidated the Right's power over the USSC leading to Citizens United... a decision you rightly condemn, but fail to see how antidemocratic ideas YOU support contributed to.

Thom, I love your show and respect your progressive economic ideals. But when it comes to "democracy", you're a bundle of contradictions. Like most Liberals, you wear democracy on your sleeve without bothering to define or flesh out the concept. For instance the most BASIC building block of democracy is not just "one person one vote", but that each vote WEIGHS THE SAME. Yet our federal system is nothing but a a gigantic vote weighting/dilution scheme where the weight of any citizen's vote depends on their choice of state residence. Without defining democracy,  there'll NEVER be any focus or strategy on how to reform our broken system... only band aids that conceal its anti-democratic nature. Face it Thom... when it comes to "democracy" you're not part of the solution... you're part of the problem.

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Pierpont
Pierpont's picture
I have to bring this subject

I have to bring this subject back up since it so baffles me how such a smart guy like Thom seems oblivious to his own contradictions. We can debate whether an election winner should win with a clear majority or a plurality, but if there is a core rule in democracy it's that candidates that LOSE elections should not prevail. Yet this is exactly what the Electoral College permits... and Thom SUPPORTS the concept of the EC even if Social Democratic nations in Europe that Thom also says he supports do NOT have such an anti-democratic feature.  

mauiman58
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Have to agree with you

Have to agree with you Pierpont on the EC, no reason for it.  However it would change the election campaigning drastically.  Right now, there are only about 10 states where votes even matter.  About 90% of the population do not even need vote for president this year, their votes will not even matter.

Pierpont
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mauiman58 wrote: Have to

mauiman58 wrote:

Have to agree with you Pierpont on the EC, no reason for it. However it would change the election campaigning drastically. Right now, there are only about 10 states where votes even matter. About 90% of the population do not even need vote for president this year, their votes will not even matter.

Of course I'd go a lot further than just abolishing the EC. Since I believe in the simple democratic concepts of one person one vote, and all votes weigh the same, I'd like to see all vestiges of state suffrage eliminated from the Constitution... which mean ALL the vote weighting/dilution formulae from the Senate to the amendment process. Right now the 12 smallest states that can block any amendment contain about 4.5% of the population. That's simply insane. Our ability to reform our system It impacts every citizen, yet it's not even on the radar because both major parties have ideological blindspots to the system's defects. Worst, a secular religion has built up around those defects.

mauiman58
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Never thought of that, but I

Never thought of that, but I don't think abolishing the Senate will happen any time soon.  The bill would be filibustered in the Senate!

Pierpont
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mauiman58 wrote: Never

mauiman58 wrote:

Never thought of that, but I don't think abolishing the Senate will happen any time soon. The bill would be filibustered in the Senate!

The Senate is perhaps the most anti-democratic and reform proof legislative body in the democratic world with a mere 18% of the US population getting 52% of the seats. No state can be deprived of suffrage in the Senate without their consent and why would a tiny state want to give up that power even if by any democratic theory they don't deserve it? The larger context are demographic trends are widening the gap between the largest and smallest states. Any citizen in WY has now a 72 bigger vote in the Senate than any citizen in California. This is NOT really offset by the House since no citizen is represented by their entire state delegation, only the representative their district elected… and because of our first-past-the-post election system, perhaps a full 49% of the population who vote for an election loser get NO representation for their beliefs.

I personally would like to see the Senate become a body based on national elections and proportional representation so if the Greens and Libertarians each get 10% of the national vote, they'd each get 10% of the seats. It would not just finally offer citizens of all stripes representation for what they believe in, but interject some new ideas into our intellectually braindead two party system.