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Of Concern & Love

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Democracy is a Conversation

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Phil Collins: Don't Get Me Started                      Questions that must be answered               Cat Stevens: Peace Train

  A Conversation with a Friend

I recently spent most of a day and most of a night talking to one of my best friends about current world events.

 He’s 14 years younger than me.  I grew up, first in East Palo Alto, California (until the age of 6) and then in the mountains of Santa Cruz (until 16) and the hills of Eureka, Ca. (until 19).  He's from Los Altos, and still lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

 I grew up in the political and cultural climates of John F. Kennedy’s Camelot, in the middle of the Vietnam War protests, civil rights marches, parents involved with Richard Nixon's campaign for the Governorship of California, and was taught from a young age to fiercely respect and defend Democracy.  I witnessed the assassinations, one after another, of the country’s brightest and most visionary leaders of the century.

 I was a true believer in American Democracy, but became disillusioned with American leadership at the age of 13 because of the proven lies spread by the government in order to cause the American people to rally around their causes and go along with corrupt governmental policies and actions.

 Lies that impacted American foreign policy, military policy, cultural values and beliefs, and allowed for the subversion of the intent of our forefathers, and the Constitution they provided us that was a viable foundation for a land of people who truly believed in and faithfully disciplined themselves to behavior that made freedom and justice for all possible.  If only because it was the right thing to do.

 I explained to my friend that my disagreement with the Election of 2000 was not who won.  My exasperation came from watching the reports from Florida, minute by minute, all the time reassuring friends and business associates “Don’t worry… when all is said and done, this will all go to the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court will do the right thing and uphold the Constitution, and there will be a full accounting of the votes, and whoever actually won will be President.”

 The Constitution has provisions that manage this specific kind of election dilemma.  Had the Constitution been followed, the truth would have been found and the country would have continued with a validated election result and a demonstration for the world about how American Democracy, object of our national pride and envy of the world, really does work.

 In the end, citizens were shocked at the lack of honor by a man, and a court appointed by his party, that would so brazenly disregard the law, with an even more brazen response to those who would challenge it… coming in the form of such immature playground remarks as “You lost, get over it”, and “What are you going to do about it?”

 I will never get over what was lost that day.  There was no higher court in which to plea for justice. We did not lose an election.  We lost Democracy, and the right to expect our votes to be counted, and the will of the people to affect their governance, and the right to justice for all.

The man who would bring honor to the White House broke the back of Democracy.  I am constantly reminded that there is no honor among thieves, and it is proven by the actions of this government, and the lies (propaganda) they tell and evidence they suppress in order to cover what they actually are doing.

My friend’s response was, “all it means is that the rules have changed”.

I said, “If the rules have changed, then show me the Constitutional Amendments that changed it”.

I said “How do you feel about a certain Washington State software company that has a monopoly on a market and still continues to sue and steal their competitors out of existence.”

He said “If that’s what you have to do these days to win the game, then that’s what you have to do.”

I said “Okay, for the sake of argument, I can accept that, but then tell me, what does that have to do with obeying and enforcing the law, what does it have to do with justice, and ultimately, how in the world can you say that these changes in the rules still preserve the game called Democracy?”

He said “Democracy has changed.    People have agreed that this is the new way to operate in the world.  The fact that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer is just the way it is, and the only way to really have freedom is to have money, so you gotta get it any way you can.”

I said, “Democracy hasn’t changed.  Democracy has safeguards to prevent that sort of thing.  What has changed is that people have abandoned Democracy, there is no longer agreement that American Democracy will work because the leaders set the example by ignoring the rules and subverting justice, and so the followers of these leaders naturally assume that this is the appropriate way to conduct oneself because cheating will give you the edge over those na´ve law abiding people who blindly trust their government and aren’t “with it””.

I said “You say you agree that a lot of what goes on seems wrong, at least on the surface.  Don’t you ever think about how all of these things impact you personally”.

His response was the one that startles me most, the one I hear the most, and the one that must make the special-interest, anti-democracy propagandists extremely pleased.

He said “It’s really easy not to think about it.  I don’t want to know.  It just depresses me.  I just want to go to work, make a lot of money, spend time with my wife and eat good food.  I don’t want to have to waste my time on things I can’t do anything about.”

I said, “Exactly. They gotcha.    But all I want to know is, if we’re not going to play Democracy anymore, is it too much to ask the people who made that decision to inform us of the rules to the new game?”

He said “Ha!  There are no rules, except to do whatever you can to get an advantage, and making it look like you’re doing one thing while doing another so you can get away with it.  Besides, if they told everyone the rules, then other people could compete, and the people in power might lose a lot of money and the power to make up the rules that give them the advantage.”

I said “Exactly. And that has nothing to do with Democracy.  That’s called racketeering.”

He said “Exactly.”




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(C) Charles Rehn Jr IV  2002-2009 All Rights Reserved