American democracy is a wonderful thing. But democracy is being threatened on numerous fronts. Each of them are producing wounds that weaken her. Combined, they could kill her.
Media- ownership of vast media "kingdoms" covering much of the US population and or monopolizing specific media geographic territories is a huge threat to freedom and democracy. Ownership of major news outlets by corporations that influence the media, so they take partisan approaches, as the Movie OUTFOXED reports FOx News does, is a big threat to the future of democracy.
Electronic Voting has so many risks, is so vulnerable to corruption and to the corrupting of the vote, that it should not be used as currently offered, without the ability to verify votes and do proper re-counts with paper back-ups. This simple safety addition has been submitted as legislation in both the house and senate, but Republicans have not responded to it.
Voter disenfranchisement: Florida set the example, with Katherine Harris (who should be in jail) contracting with a database company to create felon purge lists that brazenly removed over 50,000 eligible voters inappropriately from the voter roles. In Ohio, officials tried to argue that voter registrations printed out from the internet and mailed in were not legal because they were printed the wrong weight of paper stock. IN Arizona, they tried to intimidate students from exercising their right to register in the state where they were going to school.
The Patriot act is being abused, circumventing liberties given to Americans by the constitution.
Gerrymandering - rigging bizarrely shaped geographic confiurations that determine voting districts is a threat to democracy. Tom DeLay pulled this off in Texas.
Creation and maintenanace of a state of fear is a threat to Democracy. Al Gore said, in his article, Democracy Itself is in Grave Danger ,
"our founders taught us that public fear is the most dangerous enemy of democracy because under the right circumstances it can trigger the temptation of those who govern themselves to surrender that power to someone who promises strength and offers safety, security and freedom from fear."- Advertisement -
Gore says that giving too much power to too few people is the biggest threat.
'...the biggest threat to America is that we Americans will acquiesce in the slow and steady accumulation of too much power in the hands of one person."
Another threat Gore discusses is the need to maintain balance between the different branches of government.
"that democracy itself is in grave danger if we allow any president to use his role as commander in chief to rupture the careful balance between the executive, the legislative and the judicial branches of government."
Edward Wenk, Jr. wrote, in his article, Threats to Democracy at Code-Red Level,
"Democracy is not born in the genes. It takes continuing diligence. While our government tries earnestly to seed democracy abroad in the Middle East, at home it, ironically, shrinks democracy and even the appetite for freedom.
Class war; the difference between the richest and the poorest Americans is growing dramatically. Excessive wealth threatens democracy. It can corrupt power, the judicial, elections. Bill Moyers said "Class war has been declared and the other side is winning."
Corporate rights and powers can and are corrupting democracy. The rights the constitution grant should be for humans, not for corporations. Unfortunately, this is not the current law.
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