It's the same in any lingo

בַּת-בָּבֶל, הַשְּׁדוּדָה: אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁיְשַׁלֶּם-לָךְ-- אֶת-גְּמוּלֵךְ, שֶׁגָּמַלְתּ לָנוּ
אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁיֹּאחֵז וְנִפֵּץ אֶת-עֹלָלַיִךְ-- אֶל-הַסָּלַע

How can one be compelled to accept slavery? I simply refuse to do the master's bidding. He may torture me, break my bones to atoms and even kill me. He will then have my dead body, not my obedience. Ultimately, therefore, it is I who am the victor and not he, for he has failed in getting me to do what he wanted done. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? If not now, when? ~ Rav Hillel, Pirke Avot

This Red Sea Pedestrian Stands against Judeophobes

This Red Sea Pedestrian Stands against Judeophobes
Wear It With Pride

02 November 2008

Retained By The People: Making the Case for Participatory Democracy

If the 2008 election cycle has proven anything it is that representative democracy DOES NOT WORK.  This is the system that was created by the Founders and is laid out in the Constitution.  In a representative democracy the only real accessible way to have any effect on government is by voting.  The decisions as to what laws and regulations are passed, what government and judicial appointments are approved, even the decision to go to war is not in your hands.  It is in the hands of politicians; NOT YOURS.

Every four years we see the Rock the Voters coming out to tell us that "voting is power."  I hate to break this to you, but voting is not power.  Power is disenfranchising 18 million people by giving a party's nomination to a candidate who didn't earn it.  Power is taking delegates from one candidate and giving them to another.  Power is using sexism and misogyny to beat down candidates for public office without any repercussions.  Power is threatening delegates into participating in a rigged roll call vote.  Power is telling telecom companies that they are off the hook for helping the President violate the Constitution by tapping the phones of every citizen in the United States without a warrant.  Power is being able to bankrupt and crash the most powerful economy on the planet and making money while you do it.  That is power in America as we have allowed it to be exercised.

Yes, we can decide which political parties will control our nation's agenda with our votes, but beyond that our vote empowers us with nothing.  Did our votes stop the invasion of Iraq?  Did our votes stop Bush from tapping your phones without a warrant?  Did our votes stop the Congress from passing the economic rescue bill, granting Treasury Secretary Paulson the power to hand out $700 billion of your tax dollars to anyone he likes, for any reason?  Did our votes keep the Supreme Court from giving approval to the Secretary of State of Ohio to allow voter registration and voter fraud to be committed in her state?  No, no, no, and no.  Our vote gives us virtually no power over our government at all.  It gives us no veto power.  It gives us no oversight power.  It gives us virtually nothing.  But the Constitution does give us something.  It gives us a lot actually.  We just haven't been using the Founders' gifts well.  In fact, I would argue we have never used them at all.  What are these gifts?  The powers to shape and run this republic of ours.  It is the power to have direct democratic control over our elected officials.  Our birthright is that we have the indefeasible right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  It is also that we are permitted to live in a republic where the government doesn't work against those rights.  The Constitution gives us the means.  We have failed to utilize them.  Where do we find these tools?  In the Bill of Rights.

Amendment IX:
 The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Amendment X:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
The power to create citizen based political bodies with direct oversight of all our elected officials, and their appointees, is not granted by word in the Constitution.  But Amendment 9 makes it clear that the right to do so cannot be denied as it is a right "retained by the people."
The power to create such bodies has not been delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor is it prohibited by it to the states.  Therefore, according to Amendment 10 the states, or the people, have the right to do so.  States also have the right to amend the Constitution.

We have the unalienable human right to be governed by bodies that must adhere to our will.  The Constitution of the United States gives us the means.  If we do not exercise our god(dess) given, and constitutionally guaranteed rights to make our republic a participatory democracy then we have no one but ourselves to blame when the federal government, and political parties, continue to act against our desires and our interests, period.  

To whom can we credit with the real substantive changes that have taken place in America?  Who got women the right to vote?  The people.  Who demanded the passage of the Civil Rights Act?  The people.  Who was the conscience of the nation that helped end the Vietnam War?  The people.  If we had a participatory democracy, instead of a representative democracy, then perhaps we wouldn't have to march in the streets, engage in civil disobedience, and hunger strikes.  Perhaps then we wouldn't worry about the President sending the National Guard to college campuses and worry about citizens being gunned down while engaging in non-violent protests.  Perhaps then we wouldn't have to live in fear of financial interests driving our politicians to pass legislation that adversely effects our health, safety, security, and environment.  Perhaps then we could take the power out of the hands of corrupt politicians and lobbyists and put it where it belongs; in the hands of those whom all of these decisions directly effect: US.

That is hope, that is change.  Change is not electing some demagogue or corrupt politician who thinks that what's best for him is automatically what's best.  You know what is best for you.  I know what is best for me.  Asshats in Washington know what is best for them.  How often do those propositions coincide?  Take a look at the state of our economy for the answer to that question.  We already have a 500 year old working model for a participatory democracy in America: the Haudenesaunee Confederacy.  I will be looking at their system in depth as I believe it may make for an excellent guide for us as we begin to plan the shift to participatory democracy, so that our republic can continue to fulfill its mission; to be a place where the indefeasible, unalienable rights of human beings are steadfastly protected against anyone who would attempt to take them away.

We have an important job to do on Tuesday.  We must vote against a corrupt politician whose Chicago and international thugs are poised to rob us of our rights, our liberties, and our finances.  They have already spent the last two years robbing us of our right to free and fair elections.  So vote against Obama on Tuesday, but do not go back to sleep.  If you do then the next Obama will be free to rear his ugly head and challenge us again.  The Chris Dodds, Barney Franks, Nancy Pelosis, Harry Reids, and George Bushes of America will come again and again to work against our interests and our rights.  They can only do so if we let them.  They can only do so if we fail to exercise our rights.  If we as a society remain satisfied with voting in fraudulent elections as our means of exercising our power then this republic is not worth having.  The corruption will continue, and our rights and liberties will continue to be subsumed and eroded by our government.  If we want equal rights for ALL people, if we want government to stop working against our interests, if we want political parties to stop corrupting the electoral system, it is up to us to stand up and change it, not some fraudulent liar from Illinois who is only going to give us more of the same, only worse.

No more, America.  No more.  


Anonymous said...

Can I cross post this if I provide a backlink?

Shtuey said...

Anonymous, you may cross post with backlink, attribution, blah blah. Where are you posting?

Anonymous said...

I agree with your frustration. And you are right to be upset. I am going to try a different path. Not sure exactly what it will be yet. But after this election madness is finally over I plan on regrouping and having a long talk with myself. What happened this year is totally unacceptable regardless of the outcome. And I am with you in saying that this must never happen again.

Please be at peace, at least for a little while. I think that we all need to take a little time off for our physical as well as mental health. I know I sure do. There will be plenty of time for fighting and plenty of things to fight for in the future whatever the outcome.

Shtuey said...

Pagan, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the future.

I agree we need to take some time for ourselves after the election, which is why day one of La Resistance will be a spa day!