Democracy is rule by the people, rule by the majority. A look at the evidence shows that our idea that we have a democracy is not true. The people in our government, George Bush and congress, who keep telling us that we have a democracy, are the very ones who have taken it away from us. Here's the evidence.
In 2000, a majority of over half a million people democratically elected Al Gore President. A group of Republican government employees on the Supreme Court overturned that election and appointed George Bush to the Presidency.
In November of 2006 the majority of the people elected to throw out the Republicans and turn control of Congress over to the Democrats. That congress continues to do exactly the same as the previous congress. They bow and scrape and tug their forelocks to do the will of the Republican president.
After the November election, we had hope, what Emily Dickinson described. "Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul." We were so proud of our efforts to unseat the Republicans and re-gain control of congress. We danced around and did high-fives and grinned like fools. It turns out that we actually were fools.
We have a government that can appoint its leader in disregard for the will of the people. We have a government that is under the control of one man, that does what he wants and only what he wants, in the way he wants it done, in disregard for the will of the people and the law of the land. I submit to you that that is the definition of a dictatorship, not a democracy.
George Bush gives us his simplistic, black and white choice, "You're either with us or you're with the terrorists." Given that Bush has created more terrorists that there have ever been before, that is a distinction without a difference. There's no difference between being with the terrorists and being with the man who creates them. Thanks, but no thanks.
We have the choice between George Bush and a congress that is a George Bush clone. That is a distinction without a difference. Thanks, but no thanks, we'll choose neither.
We thought that prior to last November the knowledgeable people who wrote articles eloquently and spoke movingly, with passionate pleas to put the USA to rights, had made a difference. We had been and still are pointing out the obvious. We thought that was enough, but the current congress, the same as the previous one, proved us wrong.
So, what do we do now? What do we do about a government that refuses to acknowledge and act on the will of the people, that instead follows the will of one man?
Thoreau recommended civil disobedience. There's a couple of things wrong with that. Being civil never accomplishes anything with a dictatorship. Being disobedient implies that there is something or someone to which we must be obedient. I have found that there is nothing and no one worthy of being obedient to.
Cindy Sheehan has literally given everything she has to stop the murderous Bush regime. She did as much as anyone to influence the country to bring about a Democratic congress, expecting it to bring George Bush back under the control of the law. She has seen the utter futility of expecting the Democratic congress to act against George Bush's wishes. She has confirmed Thoreau's observation that most men (and Cindy Sheehan and the rest of us) live lives of quite desperation.
I recommend uncivil disobedience and not being quiet about it. I will not allow a Republican in my presence. When confronted with lying, spinning Republicans who support Bush's crimes, I naturally become livid with rage and go into a bug-eyed, purple-faced, spit-spattering, screaming fit, pounding on the table and yelling and hollering until they're out of sight. It doesn't accomplish any more than writing articles pointing out the obvious, being courteous, saying please and thank you, and minding my manners, but it gives me personal satisfaction. If that's all I can do, then that's what I'll do.
We're told to work within the system to change the system. We're assured that if we're in the right, we will prevail. We're in the right. We have done everything we can do. We have not prevailed. We're in the position of Atticus Finch. He worked within the system. He was in the right. His client was innocent. He lost his case. He lost his client. The system won. The only thing he did that produced a just result was to commit an act of violence by shooting a rabid dog. There's a lesson to be learned from Atticus Finch.