Democracy

Politics is a complicated subject. Even understanding the structure of government and the various ideas of capitalism and democracy is not enough to get a good picture. Then there are the political parties to which people seem to want to pick sides and cheer as if they were a sport team. Politicians are in a sense sport stars that like the best of the NFL or NBA players get in trouble and cause controversy. So how do we make a decision in a process that it is a best cloudy and at its worst smoke and mirrors?

I wish I had a clear answer. In life they say the more you learn the more you realize that you know nothing. It is the same in politics. I try to read and listen to as much information about not just the U.S. but the world as I can and the more I hear the more confused I become about where I stand politically. It is not to say that I have no convictions, but am I really standing behind my convictions when I vote for someone? Do I really understand what that person will do for me as my political voice?

The congress and senate are perfect examples. It seems like when there is a vote the reasons and ideals that made me vote for a candidate are only a percentage of what eventually influence that vote. The people representatives ask for favor votes for one another and in the end they have to at times sacrifice their principals for either a vote the owe or to buy a future favor. It sounds fishy because it is. We vote because we think that person is going to represent us.

Democracy come from the Greek δημοκρατία (demokratia), δημος (demos) the common people + κρατειν (kratein) to rule + the suffix ία (ia), literally “the common people rule”. Are we the people really ruling?

The recent Palestinian election is to me a perfect example. We as “America” are trying to spread democracy. In a way the satirical movie Team America seems more accurate than what the overall idea of spreading democracy Bush administration style is. We say that we want to spread that, then Hamas goes ahead and wins the election. The whole world is surprised by a “Terrorist” group winning an election and now everyone is scrambling to make them give up their ideals. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a supporter of Hamas, but if you are going to promote the ideal of Democracy and the rule of the people then you have to know that when you let the Palestinians vote they might be more in line with erasing Israel from the face of the earth than agreeing with a peace talk that gives them a fractured state and no real roadmap to becoming a sobering nation.

That conflict is very complicated, ongoing and historically painful. Will a new election solve it? Will Democracy really help them? Is Capitalism the answer to every problem?

In the end I am left with the same idea that I had to begin with which is my base for world politics. End world hunger and you will see a decline in conflicts.
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6 Responses to Democracy

  1. Politics gives me a headache. >.

  2. I think the main concern with Hamas winning is did they legitimately win or did they scare people into voting for them, which, of course, isn’t that democratic. If Iraq had “democratic elections” five years ago, Saddam probably still would’ve won out of fear of reprisal.

  3. No, capitalism is not the answer to every problem, but part of what keeps America continuing to believe that this is so, is the media that readily supports the “Oiligarchy”, as Amy Goodman explains in her book that I am reading. Go to democracynow.org, and I can almost guarantee that you find the news interesting again, instead of the b.s. that’s on t.v. now. It’s my favorite news station besides cspan.org and thinkprogress.com.

  4. Ending world hunger isn’t really an easy option. I mean look… when I was a kid they were asking for our 35 cents a day to send to Africa. Now, a whole generation later, still the same. The problem is that those people have become dependent on the handout. Furthermore, the corruption of the organizations only grows as they become dependent on the money we are supposed to be sending to the hungry. It is a vicious circle. Unfortunately, it is human nature. The other issue is culteral differences. Middle-eastern refugees really didn’t like to eat the meals that we sent them. I am sure it was like Fear Factor for them. Ha.

    The reason that Capitalism works is because it feeds our individual human nature to be greedy. It also allows each individual to reap as much benefit as he or she desires. What makes you content may not be the same thing that makes me content. It is the beauty of it. It’s also why Communism failed. We are not all the same and cannot be forced into a Utopian society. Capitalism requires a Democratic government so that the people can hold accountable those who are in charge of running the country. Democratic societies do not tolerate governments that terrorize people. But even so, that does not keep other groups from doing so. Look at Israel. They are democratic, capitalistic, but have to live with car bombings on a daily basis. Eventually, Iraq will be the same way. The overall quality of life will be better, but they will have to concede to the fact that other countries will hate them. It is jealousy. It is human nature to want that which others have. We can only hope to teach them to fish…

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  6. We have to remember that, just as in Palastine, elections in the USA could result in the election of terrorists. Except in that case, we would call them “patriots.”

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