|This is one way the coup could happen, and the eerie thing about the words of fictional General James Mattoon Scott (in Seven Days In May), is that they could be spoken to a real President Barack Obama, or with even more rhetorical punch (because it would be such a convincing and attractive argument) to that real disaster, the war criminal George W. Bush. This is the cost to the nation of the people electing one weak, inept, leader after another. Each time this happens, there are generals sitting around, bemoaning the deleterious effects of democracy on the stability of the empire. Some day, maybe not so long in the future, one of them is going to act to "save" America from itself.|
“PERHAPS the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure them general Favor; a long Habit of not thinking a Thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of Custom. But the Tumult soon subsides. Time makes more Converts than Reason.”—Common Sense, by Thomas Paine, 1775Who really imagines that George W. Bush and Barack Obama were the best people to lead the United States over the last 13 ½ years?
Who really imagines that those two people, based upon their achievements, and their considerable failures, that is the facts of their presidencies, even come close to being in the top 100,000 Americans or top 1,000,000 Americans who could have led the nation instead?
These are not brilliant men, nor deep men, nor visionary, nor are they gifted as pragmatists and realists. For to accomplish the latter demands you also be competent in tending to whatever mire of a compromise you have stewed up in your realistic course. And Bush and Obama are two of the least competent presidents we have ever had.
Their amazing inability to get the job done, and to further see and define the right job to do, has withered trust in American democracy amongst the people at home, and respect for American leadership all around the world.
So, if Bush and Obama were such bad choices for America, how is it that this democratic system of electing leaders has so poorly served the people? Is it broken? Or are the people simply unqualified to any longer be allowed a decision-making role in choosing their leaders?
When you suggest that to people, they have a knee-jerk reaction to it, fearing you’re suggesting taking away their natural or god-given rights to select from the long (OK, actually tiny) list of poor choices to affirm with absolute political power.
Yet, let us point out, especially to the ones who understand the function of an HR department, that any hiring process which produces two such terrible employees in a row, men who devastated the country for over a decade, would demand an emergency management review
The voters have no one in place but themselves to assess and to adjust their voting skills. There is no requirement that voters even be able to read and write—much less think straight or reasonably about national interests and their own interests.
This comes in part from a concern that democracy’s electoral net should be cast widely over the expressed preferences of all the people, to make political decisions as representative as possible.
And also, there is the recognition that demands for literacy tests and other restrictions on voting rights have in the past and even today been used by people of questionable motives who wished to shape political outcomes by denying representative elections.
Supposedly, the nation’s educational system is designed to address this concern, making sure the electorate is at least nominally prepared to exercise an informed franchise. But, as we know, the educational system of America, along with so many other systems, is failing.
And, above all, if that system fails—the republic cannot stand. For, an uneducated electorate, especially in these days and in the future, is a fundamental threat to the continued political and economic viability of America.
Yet, the politicians the people have elected view this and the other dire problems the nation faces, and laugh them off as another area where the opponents—more of the people than each other—can only agree to disagree and achieve nothing.
How can these conditions continue for much longer without a terrible, devastating, diminution of the power of the people to participate in government? The danger is high that the deficiencies of government, especially the ineptitude of it at all levels, will enable some military leader to claim, as was done in Egypt, a national emergency, requiring the military to seize control. Of course, it will be promised this overthrow of democracy will be only for a short time, until the threatening problems can be worked out, but all too often such short-term remedies are used as a stepping-stone by dictators to seize control of a nation—permanently.
That is where the US is headed. Why do I say this? Because when a nation fears and then expects the worst, because the worst increasingly seems not as bad as the status quo condition, it enables allegedly unwanted dire outcomes, and those who would perpetrate them.
Can the American people stop this drive to dictatorship? First, they have to want to, and to do that, they have to recognize what is happening, and that the threat of losing everything is real and present.