Democracy is Dead

Freedom Rider: Democracy is Dead, Its Movement Time (Part 1)

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

“The only hope for America is mass dissent.”

The American people are utterly alone and completely defenseless from the power of an increasingly authoritarian state. The Bush administration “accidentally” flies nuclear warheads over our cities, seizes American citizens as enemy combatants who can be tortured and held indefinitely, and issues orders to seize assets for “undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq.” All of these acts have taken place with the acquiescence of the Democratic party and the national corporate media.

George Bush has historically low approval ratings and controls neither house of Congress, yet he is now in a stronger position than he was just one year ago. His seemingly strange political success should not come as a surprise. Democracy is dead and gone.

Even progressive pundits and activists are loath to admit that we have crossed the point of no return. To their credit, they search for ways to make the Democratic party accountable to voters. They rail and rant about every traitorous act committed by the American establishment that is throwing democracy to the winds. Yet in thinking that the Democratic party can be moved to behave appropriately they too are complicit in ending what is left of the republic.

“Believing that the Democratic party will act in a different manner than it has been is truly delusional.”

Denial is not a river in Egypt, it is a toxic and dangerous force, leading to delusional and illogical behavior. Believing that the Democratic party will act in a different manner than it has been is truly delusional. The political process has done nothing but abandon the American people to terror committed by their government.

The only hope for America is mass dissent. Democrats have shown their hand. They will do nothing but wait out the clock in the hopes of getting Hillary Clinton elected president in November 2008. During that time, the U.S. will continue to kill Iraqis and will have begun the process of killing Iranians. Hillary Clinton will have helped commit those atrocities. It is insanity to use her presidency as a political tactic against the Bushites.

Not only is November 2008 too late to stop atrocities in the making, but it is clear that even if they are successful, the Democrats will do nothing to turn back the Bush tide. Will they undo the Patriot Act, violations of FISA rules that allowed spying on Americans, or the Military Commissions Act? Will they rebuild New Orleans or empty the jails of non-violent offenders? Recent history proves that they will not. Once the second Clinton presidency is it hand, we will be told to shut up and sit down. We will be told to rejoice that a Democrat is appointing federal judges, and ignore the fact that Guantanamo still holds political prisoners known as enemy combatants.

“Once the second Clinton presidency is it hand, we will be told to shut up and sit down.”

Every major change that took place in the United States came about because of popular demands. However, the odds of successfully mobilizing 21st century Americans are not good. As Chris Floyd writes in Empire Burlesque:

“Dissidents will be marginalized – usually by “the people” themselves. Deprived of historical knowledge by an impoverished educational system designed to produce complacent consumers, not thoughtful citizens, and left ignorant of current events by a media devoted solely to profit, many will internalize the force-fed values of the ruling elite, and act accordingly. There will be little need for overt methods of control.”

The first step in activating those people who are willing to act is to first tell them the bitter truth. Cooperation with the system, including the Democratic party, is a recipe for continued warfare, loss of civil liberties and increased corporate power.

It makes no sense to beg John Conyers to begin an impeachment investigation. The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee knows that the constitution demands it. Like every other politician he understands but one thing, the loss of his job. Conyers must face a challenge when he runs for re-election next year and he must not be alone.

“The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee knows that the constitution demands it.”

He should be joined by the Democratic politicians in Washington state who scuttled a state legislator’s plan to introduce an impeachment resolution. Congressmen Jim McDermott and Jay Inslee (*link Washington) need to join Conyers on the unemployment line and Washingtonian progressives should commit themselves to making that happen. If they don’t, they can look forward to more inaction as the Bush crimes grow worse and worse.

Perhaps Democracy has had only a near death experience. Heroic efforts may bring the patient back to life, but that can only happen if the doctors, the people, acknowledge that it has flat lined. The call for help is being made much too late, but late is better than never.


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