Social capital

Democracy Now!

Democracy Now! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Social capital makes democracy possible, and its absence makes democracy difficult as in the US now or impossible as in Afghanistan. This quotation is from Comparative Politics, Using MicroCase Explorit by Michael K. Le Roy.

“Social capital is the reserve of goodwill and trust citizens have toward on another that allows them to engage in democratic behaviors. In a study of Italy, Putnam theorizes that democracy works best when citizens with different backgrounds and perspectives can trust one another. On the face of it, this makes sense. If you generally trust people, you will be more inclined to tolerate election results that do not work in your favor. While you may not agree with the decisions of your government, if you trust that people will not harm you, you are much more likely to allow them to govern if they are properly chosen by the community as a whole. Social capital in and of itself, though, does not necessarily precede democratic behavior. Democracy is usually very risky business if you are part of a group that feels threatened, so a track record of benevolent government and loyal opposition can help to build the social capital necessary for democracy.”

Yardstick

In the days and months ahead as the lame duck Congress and then the new Congress debate measures to grow the economy and shrink the national debt, I recommend measuring progress by how the measures, proposed or enacted, will affect the middle class. It was Justice of the Supreme Court Louis Brandeis who said that you can have democracy or great wealth concentrated in a few hands, but not both at the same time. I support democracy, and I will support all measures that strengthen the middle class and decrease the concentration of great wealth.

Romneyworld

Reality

Reality (Photo credit: nualabugeye)

A Tale of Two Cities: Romneyworld and Reality

In Romneyworld, there is no hunger or poverty
In Romneyworld, 47% of the people are dependent on government
And that is how one party wants it
In Romneyworld, votes are purchased, as is everything else
In Romneyworld, liberty and democracy are slogans,
used only to lure the young to fight and die abroad.
In Romneyworld, truth and lies are interchangeable
War is peace and love is hate
In Romneyworld, there is no place for freedom,
freedom of speech, and democracy in the USA.

In reality, hunger, homelessness and poverty ravage the land.
In reality, taxes on the 99% allow the 1% to live a life of leisure.
In reality, too big to fail is too big to care.
In reality, do not dare to question your leaders
In reality, the only number that counts is the dollars of your wealth.

Divide and lie

Divide-and-conquer

Divide-and-conquer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Romney campaign has taken the tactic of divide and conquer into new territory with their divide and lie strategy, Rather than winning hearts and minds with the truth, they seek to inflame divisions within the electorate, seeking to increase fear and hatred to the point that they bring out more voters who will support Romney, At the same time, they seek to disenfranchise voters who might disagree.

We know that democracies fail when voters realize that they can vote themselves government largesse. Our democracy has not failed yet, partly because Republicans persuade voters not to vote their economic interests. The GOP distract voters with phony issues that pertain to lifestyle and religious beliefs. The real pigs at the government trough are the members of the 1% who receive government subsidies and tax breaks in the millions and billions of dollars. They know that those subsidies and tax breaks will end when the voters wise up to their lies and distortions.

Exceptional nation

Washington DC - Capitol Hill: United States Ca...

Washington DC – Capitol Hill: United States Capitol – East front (Photo credit: wallyg)

The US is an exceptional nation with an evil Federal government if you listen to supporters of the second amendment. With a defense establishment second to none, we are the good guys who support freedom and democracy around the globe. Yet at home in the US, we require an armed citizenry to maintain freedom and democracy. Other nations around the globe that possess freedom and democracy don’t require an armed citizenry to maintain their freedoms. If our government is evil, why does it promote freedom and democracy abroad while at the same time planning to extinguish freedom at home, at least according to the fear-mongers on the Right? Why would the Federal government plot to extinguish our rights in the US while at the same time promoting those values elsewhere? It does not make sense.