Is our democracy doomed?

This is a discussion on Is our democracy doomed? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; First of all I've wanted to throw these thoughts out there for a while now. I'm concerned that the mods will take it badly or ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Maverickx50's Avatar
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    Is our democracy doomed?

    First of all I've wanted to throw these thoughts out there for a while now. I'm concerned that the mods will take it badly or that the general direction of the responses may doom this thread to the delete files. SO: if either is the case I will not feel hurt if it mysteriously disappears. I'm presenting a basic philosophical concept here and although it goes to politics it is and I hope will stay clear of being placed at the foot of any particular party. It does however have real potential ramifications for each of us in our interest to be prepared and to be ready to protect ourselves and our families.

    Here Goes: I could write a book but will keep it very short and to the point and not try to justify or offer proofs for any of the specific points I'm drawing from. At least not yet.

    A true Democracy can only exist when the peoples being governed, and whose votes chose those who are to govern, are of a generally high level of intelligence. When our country was created this was assured by only allowing men of European descent who owned land to vote. As time has gone by we now allow all citizens to vote. This worked pretty well in the 30s up into the 70s but for various reasons the general intelligence level of voters/citizens has declined significantly. (Not going into the why's just stating my beliefs). This said. My real question or feeling is that a true democratic republic form of government is not sustainable. It is and will continue to break down with more and more laws and controls applied on us by fewer and fewer people at the top. Where will this end? How will the transitions take place? Nobody knows for sure but I'm betting it will not be pleasant.

    I'm not a gun toting survivalist. Just an old retired concerned citizen more worried about the world for my kids and grand kids than for myself. Although you may rest assured I won't be carried of quietly.
    I carry to protect myself and my loved ones from the BG's. Not to solve societies problems. That said: if more carried the deterrent would only have a positive overall effect on those problems.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    I understand where your coming from, but we're supposed to have a constitutional republic; not a democracy.

    and yes... we're doomed


    ...as is this thread
    Tzadik likes this.
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    We are never doomed.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    Ok, I concede Gman.

    We're doomed in the short-term, then
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

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    Ex Member Array apvbguy's Avatar
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    if a farmer allowed his weakest, feeblest animals to reproduce and become dominant in his herd, after awhile he wouldn't have much of a herd left

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    Senior Member Array Maverickx50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apvbguy View Post
    if a farmer allowed his weakest, feeblest animals to reproduce and become dominant in his herd, after awhile he wouldn't have much of a herd left
    We have been doing exactly that for at least the last 30+ years now. IC no way back, only changes forwards and not all good ones.
    I carry to protect myself and my loved ones from the BG's. Not to solve societies problems. That said: if more carried the deterrent would only have a positive overall effect on those problems.

  8. #7
    Member Array Aiko's Avatar
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    Well, if we are doomed then all we can do is our very best-that is the American Way! To much towards one party or philosophy broadly is bad IMO over time.

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    IMO, the reason that our debt ceiling is broken is that politicians pander to the voters who recieve more government dole than they contribute to government coffers or to the economy via productive effort. Bastiat voiced his concern about voters and legal plunder. We are awash in politicians who get elected by preaching redistribution of wealth.
    There was an article in the WSJ on Aug 19 ("No Easy Answer on Tax Issue" by JONATHAN WEISMAN - you need a subscription to read) that cited, "nearly half of all American households don't pay federal income taxes".
    Founder, John Jay, said, "Those who own the country should govern it." The problem, as Republican economists say, is that "people who don't pay income taxes have an incentive to support politicians who promise more federal programs, since they aren't paying for them." This is why our spending, debt ceiling, and budget is broken: politicians pander to recipients of entitlements. This is not to ask for more taxes (bigger government) from those least able to contribute. In fact, I support abolition of the income tax and the IRS and a return to an original intent of the founders that only those who are net contributors to government coffers or who productively contribute to the economy should have the civil right to vote.

    This would squelch the politicians who build careers on their search for "victims" and the devastating infuence that this form of democracy is having on our country.
    Doodle and Tzadik like this.
    Americans understood the right of self-preservation as permitting a citizen to repel force by force
    when the intervention of society... may be too late to prevent an injury.
    -Blackstone’s Commentaries 145–146, n. 42 (1803) in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array Maverickx50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pistology View Post
    IMO, the reason that our debt ceiling is broken is that politicians pander to the voters who recieve more government dole than they contribute to government coffers or to the economy via productive effort. Bastiat voiced his concern about voters and legal plunder. We are awash in politicians who get elected by preaching redistribution of wealth.
    There was an article in the WSJ on Aug 19 ("No Easy Answer on Tax Issue" by JONATHAN WEISMAN - you need a subscription to read) that cited, "nearly half of all American households don't pay federal income taxes".
    Founder, John Jay, said, "Those who own the country should govern it." The problem, as Republican economists say, is that "people who don't pay income taxes have an incentive to support politicians who promise more federal programs, since they aren't paying for them." This is why our spending, debt ceiling, and budget is broken: politicians pander to recipients of entitlements. This is not to ask for more taxes (bigger government) from those least able to contribute. In fact, I support abolition of the income tax and the IRS and a return to an original intent of the founders that only those who are net contributors to government coffers or who productively contribute to the economy should have the civil right to vote.

    This would squelch the politicians who build careers on their search for "victims" and the devastating infuence that this form of democracy is having on our country.
    Nice thoughts if only the majority of voters were paying taxes it might have a chance of happening. National bankruptcy may be the only other option for change.
    I carry to protect myself and my loved ones from the BG's. Not to solve societies problems. That said: if more carried the deterrent would only have a positive overall effect on those problems.

  11. #10
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    I fully understand where you [OP] are coming from, but I'm a little uncertain that intelligence of the electorate or lack thereof is truly the issue. We certainly had a political party called the "Know Nothings," about 150 years back, and for good reason. So maybe not much has changed.

    What is concerning is that our world is unbelievably complex and full of a huge number of competing interests. It is impossible to reconcile the many interests, and the level of complexity of issues makes simple and obvious solutions almost always the wrong ones. Lots of stuff in our world is actually counter-intuitive, and when we vote for folks who espouse the intuitively correct answer, without giving ourselves the opportunity to look at less obvious answers, we make the wrong selection.

    For various reasons, time on my hands as a retired person, curiosity, reigniting old academic interests, I have been trying out various forms of e-books and e-book readers. I've tended to download the free stuff; which is usually older works long out of copyright. Our world may be technologically different, but our politics and our behavior hasn't really changed through the past few centuries. Oftentimes I think we incorrectly believe that our present is different from the past in significant ways. It isn't. Problems of poverty, income inequality, protectionism, inflation, deflation, economic bubbles, wealth destruction, wanton warfare, social injustice, trade relationships with other countries, all existed throughout post-dark ages history.

    In short, our problem isn't one of intelligence or lack of intelligence, rather we do have a huge problem with the fact that ordinary voters vote on matters of science policy when they may not know the science. We vote on matters of economic policy when we may not understand the economics. We vote on matters of social structure but may be quite ill informed on the things revealed by scholarly social science work. We vote on taxation but that too is a highly complex issue, plus we tend to vote our individual selfish interest which may be different from what is best for our collective interest as a nation. We argue about Central banks but few of us (myself included) really understand their function. Similarly, we cavalierly decide that our military is or is not too fat, bloated, or conversely too underfunded, but seldom are we actually in a position to judge whether we need more submarines or more special forces or less fighter jets, or more or less contractors.

    Maybe put another way, we have minds designed for hunting and agrarian societies, but we live in a much much different world. In that sense, we are doomed. We can not expect our poor old brains to be up to the task which has fallen on us. Our leaders are therefore forced to make complex decisions often with far less information than needed even though we live in an "information world." And sadly, a few of our putative leaders (and many of our fellow voters) make a point of bragging that they can make decisions without studying stuff. That is scary.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverickx50 View Post
    Nice thoughts if only the majority of voters were paying taxes it might have a chance of happening. National bankruptcy may be the only other option for change.
    This would not take a majority of voters to enact. Seeing as it would be a Constitutional amendment, it would require 2/3 of the Congress to pass it and 3/4 of the states to ratify it. In general, I agree with going back to a means based enfranchisement - those who support the government get to vote regardless of race or sex. Those who are net receivers from the government do not get to vote. Payroll taxes, which are theoretically, key word theoretically, deferred comp would not count in this equation. This would be the modern version of property owners.

    I would also repeal the 16A & 17A. Finding a methodology for the states to pay for the federal debt would be problematic, but it could be worked out. Empowering the states, as was originally intended, is also necessary.

    Finally, we need a president that will require his cabinet members to provide a Constitutional justification for each function they perform. For those functions that do not have a Constitutional justification, determine if there are any that the public would want to keep, i.e., national parks & the Smithsonian come to mind. Tell Congress to make an amendment to enable these. For the rest, fire all the employees and give them a corporate-style severance. Move all remaining workers into the best government owned buildings, break the leases and pay the contractual penalty for so doing. Then sell the remaining buildings that are not needed. You could right-size the government in less than 2 years.
    It's the Land of Opportunity, not the Land of Entitlements - Vote America!!!

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    Ex Member Array dcselby1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverickx50 View Post
    First of all I've wanted to throw these thoughts out there for a while now. I'm concerned that the mods will take it badly or that the general direction of the responses may doom this thread to the delete files. SO: if either is the case I will not feel hurt if it mysteriously disappears. I'm presenting a basic philosophical concept here and although it goes to politics it is and I hope will stay clear of being placed at the foot of any particular party. It does however have real potential ramifications for each of us in our interest to be prepared and to be ready to protect ourselves and our families.

    Here Goes: I could write a book but will keep it very short and to the point and not try to justify or offer proofs for any of the specific points I'm drawing from. At least not yet.

    A true Democracy can only exist when the peoples being governed, and whose votes chose those who are to govern, are of a generally high level of intelligence. When our country was created this was assured by only allowing men of European descent who owned land to vote. As time has gone by we now allow all citizens to vote. This worked pretty well in the 30s up into the 70s but for various reasons the general intelligence level of voters/citizens has declined significantly. (Not going into the why's just stating my beliefs). This said. My real question or feeling is that a true democratic republic form of government is not sustainable. It is and will continue to break down with more and more laws and controls applied on us by fewer and fewer people at the top. Where will this end? How will the transitions take place? Nobody knows for sure but I'm betting it will not be pleasant.

    I'm not a gun toting survivalist. Just an old retired concerned citizen more worried about the world for my kids and grand kids than for myself. Although you may rest assured I won't be carried of quietly.
    If the U.S., in fact, was a democracy, you thoughts would be correct, in my opinion, which is exactly why our forefathers were so rabidly against the creation of a democracy in this country.

    The problem with allowing "everybody" to vote is that in a Constitutional Republic, the people are supposed to PARTICIPATE in their government. The reason we are in the shape we are and have so many (idiotic) laws and regulations is BECAUSE the majority of people do not even vote, let alone participate in the governing of their own country. I've said it time and again for years: A representative government is not a spectator sport.

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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
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    Infowars- Proving David Hannum right on a daily basis

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    Term limits. It should not be a career it should be a short term of service to your country.

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    Hopyard gets the award for the best post tonight, if not the month!

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