You're doing democracy wrong

posted by Jeff | Thursday, August 13, 2020, 12:00 PM | comments: 0

One of the side effects of sports rivalry politics is that Americans have largely resigned the democratic process to be about who wins an election. This has become even more apparent now that we know who the candidates for president are. The refrain is already getting old:

"We have two choices and neither one of them is good."

Putting aside for a moment the fact that there is no moral equivalence argument to make here, because choosing between an autocratic fascist and literally anyone else is not a difficult choice, it seems that we forget that the election is only the first part. The second part is keeping the elected person accountable.

Cool, so Crazy Uncle Joe isn't your first choice in presidential candidates. Yeah, same here, but if he wins the election, that's just the start. Once someone does attain the office, the democratic process is to hold that person accountable. We do this through free speech and freedom of the press. Have you written your Congresscritters? Ever email your city council or mayor? Representative government is not a spectator sport.

There is no such thing as a candidate that will align with everything that you believe. And really, what's so great about your opinion? Or mine? The system isn't always ideal, so we hopefully start with a moral foundation, then look for common ground on policy. And then we let them know how they're doing, and remove them when they fail. If you vote the party line at all costs and ignore failure, you're doing it wrong.


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