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The dictatorship of representative democracy
by Thanos Kalamidas
2013-10-05 12:40:27
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Watching what’s going on this minute in USA with all the shutdown of the government and the strange war between the Democrats and the Republicans you have to wander if there is something in the air on that side of the Atlantic that makes people behave strange.

Barack Obama was the American president elected with the most expectation that any other leader in history and that not only in inside USA but internationally. Like magic everybody was expecting that his election would immediately bring peace on earth the end of poverty and illness and equality for everybody. We went to such extent as to give him the Peace Nobel Prize months after getting inside the White house.

If he succeeded all these after six years in the White House? No! He didn’t succeed any of those. Actually we have one more equal or even worst with the past situation in Middle East, the situation in East Asia remains complicated, poverty now is global, the number of unemployed and homeless  and equality seems like a thing for the far future with slavery still running. So I suppose Barack Obama failed all those expectations. But Barack Obama never promised any of those.

Actually and accordingly to the “Politic Facts”, until this day Barak Obama has kept 73% of the promises he gave during his presidential campaign, a record compared to most presidents and international leaders the last few decades. And he still has plenty of time to fulfil the other 27%. The only trouble for the international expectations is that all his promises were to the American people and not to the globe and after all it is the American people who elected him for their president.

During his campaign and among others, he gave two very important promises. Important at least for me who wants global peace, the end of poverty and equality. One of these promises that really thrilled me was the promise to fight and gradually eliminate the influence of the lobbies in Washington. Lobbies in nothing new but gradually the last thirty years lobbies and lobbyists have earn unbelievable power, so big that they can influence politics and geopolitical agendas. There are gun lobbies, cigarette industry lobbies, drugs industry lobbies, weapons lobbies, religious lobbies, and all of them have one and only one aim to influence congressmen and congresswomen to vote laws in their favour. Laws that can change international status quo and influence foreign policy decisions. The best example of the power these lobbies have is that USA is one of the very few countries that refused to sign the Kyoto protocol for the protection of the global environment. The role of the oil lobbies is a common secret. As common secret is the corruption this influence has brought to all the levels in Washington. And it gets worst since all these lobbies have lately moved to Europe starting with the banking industry lobbies.

However Barack Obama decided to prioritize another promise, a promise with a personal meaning. A promise he had given to his mother in her death bed. The healthcare plan. Magnificent plan that will give health security to millions. It is difficult for us Europeans who enjoy a welfare state that covers medical care for everybody, employed and unemployed, rich and poor equally, to understand a state that if you don’t have a job or money you are not covered and doomed to fight illness without help with in worst case the same scenario Barack Obama lived with his mother. And here we are not talking about a small part of the population but according the labour statistics bureau, from the definite twenty to probably sixty million people.  Unbelievable numbers. And Barack Obama wants to give them more than just hope, wants to give them a chance.

But he cannot because the lobbies – the lobbies of the private hospitals, the lobbies of the doctors, the lobbies of the drugs and I have no idea what other lobbies, fight him and they use the Republican Party to do their dirty job.

Now here is the contradiction of the American democracy with the involvement of the lobbies undoubtedly among of the Republican Party’s voters except tea party goers and hockey-mothers there are a lot coming from those who have no healthcare. And it is statistically sure that a lot of them voted for the Republican Party in the last elections otherwise they wouldn’t make majority. Still, do they defend their rights? The rights of their voters? No. Actually they’ve been fighting using the dirtiest methods the healthcare plan with their last front the budget vote. They refused to vote the budget and the federal government was forced to close leaving thousand not paid and without jobs. Endangering the American economy in a time of an international economic crisis and embarrassing the American government internationally showing that it is a giant with weak legs.

The last two decades there are increasing signs that representative democracy is dealing with essential problems and democracy is the perfect political system and beyond but with cases like this at this moment in USA where the people and the president are hold hostages of interests represented by a political party with the power of the Republican Party show that we have the dictatorship of the representative democracy however schizophrenic that might sounds.

Checking the site which represents the platform of the Republican Party against the healthcare plan or Obamacare as the republicans call it, I’ve read the most unbelievable and illogical arguments. The best of all was in the last paragraph and supposedly the one that was their major argument.

“We reject any notion of government-run universal health care because we have seen evidence from around the world that government-run health care leads to inefficiencies, long waiting periods, and often substandard health care. We applaud efforts by President Bush and the Republican Congress to reform the broken medical liability system that is raising health care costs and limiting patients’ access to doctors-doctors who are being driven out of their practices by excessive medical liability costs.”

Now if this is their argument and the reasoning for the shutdown of the federal government, to endanger USA with a financial crisis while recovering from one and in the middle of a global crisis then there is definitely something in the air in that side of the Atlantic.

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Leah Sellers2013-10-06 19:33:11
Yes Sir, Brother Thanos,
The thing in the Air (and in the Water) is the hubris and greed of the Mega Corporations, Mega-Banks and Elitists (who Own and Run them). Americans, in particular, have been a feeding fround for these Folks for a very long time. They do not want to go on a diet, even though it would Benefit EveryOne in the Long run. They are just that Selfish, UnWise, Sociopathic, and Short-sighted.
Thanks for your article !

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