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Jan-19-2010 22:57printcomments

Why I Don't Believe in Democracy

The problem is not lack of leadership, but the presence of the wrong kind of leadership—meaning they don’t have the interests of the polity in mind.

Rudy Giuliani campaigning with Scott Brown
Rudolph Giuliani campaigning with Scott Brown

(CALGARY, Alberta) - The Republicans winning Ted Kennedy’s old seat in Massachusetts confirms my pessimism about democracy. While a Republican agenda is far from a slam-dunk, there are nation-shaking possibilities near at hand. This may end Obama’s quest for health care reform as a small number of people in one state are able to derail national policies.

Look to more public support for tax cuts that benefit the wealthy while hurting public services that almost everyone relies on to one degree or another. People are so brainwashed that even the poor will decline public assistance out of misplaced pride, even though they are suffering--ignoring or totally oblivious to the fact that the rich and powerful find ways to take hundreds of billions of dollars out of the public purse with no conscience whatsoever.

This is my first caveat against democracy: People can generally be counted on to vote against their own best interests.

The electorate is also, overall, stupid to use a technical term. George W. Bush and his politics of wealth and phoney wars left the nation almost prostrate. But, because a new president, arguing for reform, couldn’t turn things around in only a year, when Bush had eight years to do his damage, the stupid electorate turned against him and his progressive policies.

Writer Colin Wilson said: “When we look back over the past eight thousand years, it is clear that the most irritating characteristic of human beings is their passivity. The mass of people accept whatever happens to them as cows accept the rain.”

That’s democracy in action. The problem is not lack of leadership, but the presence of the wrong kind of leadership—meaning they don’t have the interests of the polity in mind.

The playwright George Bernard Shaw once asked the explorer H. M. Stanley (Dr. Livingstone, I presume) how many other men could take over leadership of the expedition if Stanley himself fell ill. “One in twenty,” said Stanley. “Is that exact or approximate?” asked Shaw. “Exact”.

Biological studies have confirmed this fact. For some unknown reason, precisely five percent—one in twenty—of any animal group are dominant and have leadership qualities. During the Korean War, the Chinese made the discovery that if they isolated the dominant five percent of American prisoners of war, and kept them in a separate compound, the remaining ninety-five percent made no attempt to escape.

It was Lord Acton who said: Absolute power corrupts absolutely. “No human being can withstand the lure of it, not even the Gandhis and Mother Teresas of the world,” argues Adam Galinsky, professor of ethics at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, who has been studying the effects of power for 10 years.

The rich and powerful, Galinsky argues, believe they become invisible. He uses the auto executives as an example. They flew to Washington in their private jets while, at the same time, they were demanding huge pay cuts from the workers and huge bailouts from the government. They seemed to be genuinely surprised when people reacted with outrage at their insensitivity. They thought they were invisible, says Galinsky.

And so it is with democracy. The bovine electorate of America elect the worst of the five percent leadership who promptly begin to do whatever they want. “People in power,” Galinsky says, “act more like themselves; their true personality emerges.”

But it’s not just America. We are coming up to 40 years in 2011 of Conservative rule in Alberta. We, too, have a largely bovine population.

What democracy ends up being is a kakistocracy—rule by the worst. It seems to be in human nature for this to happen. After this election in Massachusetts today, I feel no optimism, just like I feel after the Alberta elections I’ve watched since I became politically aware in the 1982 Alberta election. Kakistocracy here, kakistocracy there, it’s a disease.

Daniel Johnson was born near the midpoint of the twentieth century in Calgary, Alberta. In his teens he knew he was going to be a writer, which is why he was one of only a handful of boys in his high school typing class — a skill he knew was going to be necessary. He defines himself as a social reformer, not a left winger, the latter being an ideological label which, he says, is why he is not an ideologue. From 1975 to 1981 he was reporter, photographer, then editor of the weekly Airdrie Echo. For more than ten years after that he worked with Peter C. Newman, Canada’s top business writer (notably on a series of books, The Canadian Establishment). Through this period Daniel also did some national radio and TV broadcasting. He gave up journalism in the early 1980s because he had no interest in being a hack writer for the mainstream media and became a software developer and programmer. He retired from computers last year and is now back to doing what he loves — writing and trying to make the world a better place

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C. Ellis January 22, 2010 8:31 am (Pacific time)

There is no need to fear a working and functioning "Democracy." For it looks like America, teetering as it was on the brink of a 'kinder, gentler' tyranny, has pulled back. Between the shocking election of Scott Brown in ploddingly-liberal Massachusettes, the overturning of much of McCain-Feingold's ban on election advertisements prior to elections, and the Russian disclosure that the Global Warming hoaxers were making up data, America emerged from this rather close call with a new direction. It appears that direction -- much to the consernation and dismay of the President and much of Congress -- is back to freedom. What made this possible? What forces drove back the blitzkreig of Government, Regulation, and Suppression? In a word: INFORMATION.

Carolyn Ellis January 21, 2010 6:43 pm (Pacific time)

Fear this kind of Democracy: Less than two weeks ago, The New York Times said that so much as a "tighter-than-expected" victory for Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley would incite "soul-searching among Democrats nationally," which sent Times readers scurrying to their dictionaries to look up this strange new word, "soul." A close win for Coakley, the Times said, would constitute "the first real barometer of whether problems facing the party" will affect the 2010 elections. But when Coakley actually lost the election by an astounding 5 points, the Chicago boys in the White House decided it was the chick's fault. Democratic candidate Martha Coakley may be a bad campaigner, but it's ridiculous to blame her for losing the election. She lost because of the Democrats' obsession with forcing national health care onto a population where a majority have voiced opposition to current legislation. Coakley campaigned exactly the way she should have. As a Democrat running in a special election for a seat that had been held by a Democratic icon for the past 46 years in a state with only 12 percent registered Republicans, Coakley's objective was to have voters reading the paper on Friday, saying: "Hey, honey, did you know there was a special election four days ago? Yeah, apparently Coakley won, though it was a pretty low turnout." Ideally, no one except members of government unions and Coakley's immediate family would have even been aware of the election. Has anyone noticed that Marxists' have no sense of humor?

Al Marnelli January 21, 2010 2:45 pm (Pacific time)

Henry Ruark I stand by my below comments which I know to be correct, which the Massachussett's election clearly acknowledge. What I found to be entertaining in I admit a strange way, is that in an interview today, I mean yesterday, President Obama said what swept him into office is what swept in Senator-elect Brown, and that was the voter's dissatisfaction with the last 8 years of republican governance. Note when the democrats took over congress unemployment was at approx. 4 1/2%. So taking that circular reasoning, he suggests that the majority of voters in Mass., disliking the republicans, elected a republican into a senate seat that can be traced back to JFK from 1952? The voter's clearly were dissatisfied with current events and the democratic candidate represented status quo, something the majority declined to embrace, obviously. This election is what "democracy" is all about and should engender confidence in our system of government. Oh sure we will still have those in power who will ignore the will of the people and remain arrogant about the meaning of this election, but this one nationally obscure man has changed the "business-as-usual" in DC, and for that I am eternally grateful. In fact at this time it wouldn't matter if he even switched parties because he has promulgated even the far left media into realizing that the public "get's it", no matter how they report the news, or how they don't report it. Democracy exists because of the problem-solving and decision-making ability of our population, and that coupled with our republic form of government allows us to remove those who "don't get it."

jimmy January 21, 2010 1:12 pm (Pacific time)

If you want to know how .gov created this eartquake, just google (or bing) "haarp earthquake", it's been going on for quite some time. As I've said before...I love my country, but hate my government.

Hank Ruark January 21, 2010 9:47 am (Pacific time)

Friend Al: You wrote: "Our form of government provides for problem-solving/decision-making better than any other large government we have on the planet." Is THAT why we have that under-riding huge and growing tide of resentment and deeply serious dissatisfaction you and others have pointed out ? If one exists, how can the other be operating at full effectiveness ?? Frustration breeds fear and fear-itself finds fearsome ways to build more fear...do you agree ? One way to assist that unwholesome and ironic process is to ask questions in quantity known impossible for answer, thus giving credence to querier while denying any hope of comprehensive response.

jimmy January 21, 2010 8:41 am (Pacific time)

Now thats change we can believe in!

Al Marnelli January 20, 2010 11:56 am (Pacific time)

DJ I personally am involved in numerous organizations that do their best to help people in trouble. Some people you just cannot help. The horse to water scenario if you get my meaning. So I use both my free time and personal funds trying to improve lives. How about you? I am also hopeful that a reformed health care system is on the horizon, but the one from the Pelosi camp is a no starter and the senate bill is a bit too nebulous and essentially uneven. It would be struck down in court for numerous reasons, but the "equal protection" clause would certainly be in play in my opinion. My country will work it out in due time, later rather than sooner, unfortunately. So do you have a particular model of government that you prefer? Which country is currently using it? I see some posters like the political model in Cuba. Yes that sounds like a bit of heaven, maybe we should ask Castro to help guide us during these bad times? Maybe Hugo Chavez is available? Our voters, I believe, will always vote for what they "perceive" as the option to meet their best interests and values. Have you ever compared our citizens who are considered poverty stricken with say the middle class in europe? How's that unemployment rate in those countries? Their tax rates? This is not the Grapes of Wrath environment anymore for our poor, nor can a hospital emergency room lawfully refuse them care. Unfortunately DJ, many of our emergency rooms have been closing down, and the reasons for those closures are because of high demand by non-citizens. Life is not fair, but we still have a country where everyone wants to come and live. We will overcome our problems, and they will probably be replaced by other problems in the future which we will also overcome. Our form of government provides for problem-solving/decision-making better than any other large government we have on the planet. As you know, Canada has about 1/10th of our population, thus having such a large and diverse country as we can make things pretty complex. I was wondering, I read at an earlier time that your government was introducing some private insurers to your health care system, true?

There are always cons who try to introduce privatization so that money is taken away from health care and given to individuals for profit. Not everyone wants to go to the U.S. You couldn't pay me enough to emigrate to the U.S. Yet, there are lots of other countries I would willing move to if it were advantageous. No, Cuba is not on the list.

Al Marnelli January 20, 2010 4:01 pm (Pacific time)

DJ, Americans will almost always vote for what they "perceive" to be in their best interests and what best reflects their value system. As individuals we have limited control over most large domestic events, and almost no control over the external events that impact us domestically. It was not long ago that we had very low unemployment rates and high quarterly growth; millions of jobs were being created. In the year 2000 we were experiencing a recession, so in 2001 we, on a bipartisan level, reduced taxes, then the 9/11 attack took place which adversely impacted our economy. Just the same we recovered and the economy was humming along. As you are aware economies go through up and down cycles, but we had amassed huge debt in the private housing sector (still happening, so we may have a repeat bubble bust performance) by allowing uncreditworthy people to purchase homes they could not afford. The commercial real estate industry was doing well because they continued to follow sound business principles. The leader's back in DC last year decided to pursue, it seems, everything but addressing the economy and the growing unemployment rate. They were forwarned that the Stimulus Bill would not help either the economy nor the employment situation. That warning has obviously been accurate. The Massachusetts election shows how a new coalition of independents, Republicans and conservatives have decided to send the DC power a message that they need to listen to them or expect to be heading down the road after next November's election. I personally want healthcare for all of our citizens and world peace, zero unemployment and anything else my fellow Americans need. It is true as per our interpretation we have many people living in poverty, but have you compared our poverty stricken people with the middleclass in various european countries? Our poverty is not of the Grapes of Wrath variety. Sure we need to help our fellow citizens and that's why people are so angry, ergo the Scott Brown victory. Pretty soon you will see the very far left radicals start to move towards the center to try to keep in power, it's too late for them. That senate election was big.

Carolyn Ellis January 20, 2010 12:08 pm (Pacific time)

Why hasn't the Commerce Clause been read to allow interstate insurance sales? The federal government has only specific enumerated powers...also seems to have overlooked the Ninth and 10th Amendments, which limit Congress's powers only to those granted in the Constitution. One of those powers—the power "to regulate" interstate commerce—is the favorite hook on which Congress hangs its hat in order to justify the regulation of anything it wants to control. James Madison, who argued that to regulate meant to keep regular, would have shuddered at such circular reasoning. Madison's understanding was the commonly held one in 1789, since the principle reason for the Constitutional Convention was to establish a central government that would prevent ruinous state-imposed tariffs that favored in-state businesses. It would do so by assuring that commerce between the states was kept "regular." The Supreme Court finally came to its senses when it invalidated a congressional ban on illegal guns within 1,000 feet of public schools. In United States v. Lopez (1995)... Applying these principles to President Barack Obama's health-care proposal, it's clear that his plan is unconstitutional at its core. The same Congress that wants to tell family farmers what to grow in their backyards has declined "to keep regular" the commercial sale of insurance policies. It has permitted all 50 states to erect the type of barriers that the Commerce Clause was written precisely to tear down. Insurers are barred from selling policies to people in another state. That's right: Congress refuses to keep commerce regular when the commercial activity is the sale of insurance, but claims it can regulate the removal of a person's appendix because that constitutes interstate commerce. What we have here is raw abuse of power by the federal government for political purposes. ... They aren't upholding the Constitution—they are evading it. And that is the primary reason why the progressives will be heading back into the shadows while the democratic party will once again stabalize and pursue what that party is suppose to pursue: Individual liberty.

UrKiddingRight January 20, 2010 11:23 am (Pacific time)

This article makes it clear that Daniel Johnson will be pleased with the world only when he (the "smart one" don't you know) gets to make all the decisions for everyone. Mind you, Mr. Johnson isn't a libertarian type who advocates that each person should have both the authority and responsibility to look out for himself. Mr. Johnson wants the authority to make decisions for everyone, about your wealth and my wealth in addition to his wealth. I for one am pleased that Mr. Johnson has not gotten his wish to be our (all us cows') dictator.

"The United States is broken" wrote Bob Herbert in a recent column.

I didn't break it! say I. It's up to the good leaders of America to fix it.

Daniel Johnson January 20, 2010 11:02 am (Pacific time)

I just ran across a book by Bruce Judson titled America on the Brink published in 2009. I'll read it when I get it from the library, but here is part of a review of the book:

Judson believes "economic inequality is the single greatest predictor of revolution, and inequality in America has reached catastrophic levels." He urges the Obama administration to raise the relative prosperity of the middle class in order to avoid frustration and unrest. Unemployment is the worst since the Great Depression, and foreclosure or near-foreclosure status affects one in nine homes, 47 million Americans have no health insurance, many families with two wage earners cannot meet basic needs, and the retirement savings of many individuals have been lost. The author explains that inequality in the U.S. has developed over the past 30 years and suggests policy changes and goals, including restoring trust in government, finance, and business; instituting greater economic security for low- and middle-income households; and reining in some of the excesses that evolved from free-market abuses.

Things have gotten worse and more unstable since the book was published.

gp January 20, 2010 10:47 am (Pacific time)

An Argentine said to me today: "The US is the least democratic of the democracies in the world. This is because direct democracy whereby neighborhoods decide what they want and send their representative to the central government is not the same as the US style representative democracy where a person is elected and then does whatever s/he wants." The other interesting thing is that my friend went on to mention that in Cuba, Venezuela and Ecuador the direct democracy is the way it is done. The powerful in the US have had to be sure to vilify the governments of those countries and Americans certainly have been sold a bill of goods regarding the sanctity of their own form of democracy.

Carolyn Ellis January 20, 2010 10:06 am (Pacific time)

While a self-satisfied and entitled Coakley vacationed or partied with D.C. lobbyists, Brown drove around in his GM truck, shaking hands in the cold outside Fenway Park – earning the scorn of Coakley and President Obama, who mocked Brown’s truck six times at the Boston rally this weekend to the delight of blue-nosed Democrats. Barney Frank griped at the Coakley-Obama rally that Coakley “let it become a personality contest and that was a mistake.” The supreme irony in hearing Beltway Democrats snipe at Coakley over her effete, out-of-touch attitude is that their commander-in-chief at 1600 Pennsylvania suffers the same fatal flaws. Exactly one year after Obama was inaugurated, the Massachusetts meltdown mirrors the White House meltdown. For the sake of their political survival, Democrats need to stop promising change and start promising self-correction.

Al Marnelli January 20, 2010 9:52 am (Pacific time)

Historically Americans vote their own self-interests which is a highly normal course of action in our democratic Republic. Why would they vote against their own interests?Considering that we have nearly a 50/50 difference of opinions in many national issues (that is changing), it's clear our system is working. It is when elected officals ignore majority opinions that we have such dramatic results that are evidenced in the governor elections in Virginia and New Jersey. The election of a conservative senator in the bluest of states and the most liberal of liberal states clearly acknowledges that voters have no use for current policies coming out of DC and how their governor is governing. That senate seat was JFK's going back to 1952. Last time a Republican held that seat was by an African-American. Did you know that? Buyers remorse going on? The 2008 presidential election was actually pretty close statistically, so it just takes 3% to 4% to change the national dynamic. Certainly a lot of anger out there and much second guessing on voter's motives, but it is what it is. Sen. Scott Brown has an interesting resume' and family. He joined his state national guard in his youth (age 19/20) as an elisted man. He went through college, then law school, joined JAG as an officer. He is now a Lt. Colonel with over 30 years in the military. He is also Airborne trained. His wife is a journalist, currently a reporter with a Boston television station. His oldest daughter was a star basketball player for Boston University and a finalist on the Idol television program. He drove his GMC truck over 200,000 miles campaigning for this seat. Now is that not a good commercial for GMC vehicles. Certainly those who don't like his viewpoints are unhappy, ditto for his failed opponent who obviously did not campaign very well. This was probably the most significant state level election in our nations history, and time will tell, soon I believe, what it's national implications are. Daniel J is Alberta the only conservative province in Canada, or are there others? Thanks.

Alberta has had unbroken conservative governments going back to 1935. From 1935-1971, it was Social Credit, even more right wing. Ontario was also conservative for quite a few decades, but they started electing alternative parties in the 1980s.

Question for you about people voting their own self-interest. Are you one of the few people who think that everything in America is basically OK? The current situation in America is what people have "voted for"--unnecessary wars, huge national debt, huge deficit, millions of people with no health care, current unemployment at 10% and not expected to fall in the near future, millions of people with no cash income, living off food stamps. tens of millions of children living in poverty--I could go on. Is this, in your opinion, what the people of America have voted for?

Ersun Warncke January 20, 2010 9:49 am (Pacific time)

If democracy has failed, then the failure occurred long before this particular election. If this election becomes a pretext to not pass even the timid and limited health care reforms proposed, then that has nothing to do with this election, but is merely a continuation of ongoing policy with a newer and more vivid rationale. To return to a point that I raised recently: we live in a society where the only people with a recognized constitutional right to health care are incarcerated criminals. The rules of senatorial procedure can be no justification for maintaining this situation. The election of one senator in one State, with the support of 25% of the registered voters (even less of eligible voters) is certainly no justification. No amount of democratic theatrics can justify absurd policy. The policy is what will be judged, not the performances of the actors, or the dramatic narrative that they put to play. With all due respect to your opinions Daniel, I do think that you misjudge the intellect and passivity of the American people. By simply reviewing the records of the democratic process, you can observe that a majority of Americans do not participate at all, and thus assert their democratic right of rejection. The government here has no legitimacy deriving from democratic grounds at all. The fact that somebody goes on TV and says that they are the democratically elected leader of this or that group of people does not make it so. If that is your standard, then every dictator in the world who has held elections is a legitimate democratic leader. Why not just elect a "good" politician? I have been asked this many a time by an outside observer of our political process. Unless you can understand that the two things are a contradiction in terms, then you cannot understand why Americans refuse to vote and don't care about the democratic process. You cannot have a good politician in a fundamentally corrupt institution. The very act of becoming a politician in this democratic process is personally debasing and demands corruption. No wise and honest person will ever run for office under the rules that are in place. So, what would you have the cattle do? Rise up, murder their fellow human beings, and put in place some kind of dictatorship? This is also a useless and self-destructive course, which is wisely rejected. If the cattle are faced with the choice between a corrupt democracy and a revolution that will lead to even worse government, then the cattle do well to graze while they can, and wait for the day when better options present themselves. They do better if they take purposeful action that will insure that better options arise, but such a thing is not always possible. If you say this is stupid, then what superior alternative do you propose?

Sorry, Ersun, but I don't see any hope. America, in my view, is one of those artificial nations like the former Yugoslavia--a bunch of people in different regions with nothing in common, pretending they have something in common. America's big tragedy was the Civil War. The North should have let them go. I've been thinking about writing on this topic.

Daniel January 20, 2010 8:32 am (Pacific time)

Brown was helped by the non stop ranting by fox and the wall street journal and huge donations from the right . The left leaning press did little to oppose him . Brown was also the better looking , this is a big factor with too many . He was also helped by the fact many were afraid of being forced into paying for health insurance . Ted was for universal health care not forcing people to buy into the system ! In a bad economy few want to pay more for anything .There was also the false fear , they would have to pay more to cover the poor people of color . Its mostly about peoples preception real or not of costing them money . The same will happen with measure's 66 and 67 . Yes Daniel J the electorate is stupid and self centered , it always has been .

Erich Kofmel January 20, 2010 7:46 am (Pacific time)

Check out my blog, the "Anti-Democracy Agenda": www.anti-democracy.com Cheers

Al Marnelli January 20, 2010 7:14 am (Pacific time)

Daniel have you seen some of the internal polling that was done in the Senator Scott Brown election? The below may help provide a glimpse into the national concensus that we have, but that little is reported on by the msm.

" Among those who named national security as most important, Brown won 67% to 29%.

· For those who saw taxes as number one, it was Brown 87%, Coakley 13%.

The picture gets even murkier when you look at the correlation between approval of the health care plan.
· Among those who Strongly Favor the plan before Congress, Coakley won 97% of the vote.

· Among those who Strongly Oppose the plan, 98% voted for Brown.

· Coakley also picked up 90% of those who Somewhat Favor the plan while Brown was supported by 78% of those who Somewhat Oppose it.

· "ONE KEY" to Brown’s victory is that 41% Strongly Opposed the plan while just 25% Strongly Favored it.}

Last February, President Obama listed four priorities for Congress to act upon. Voters in Massachusetts, like voters nationwide, named deficit reduction as the top goal and health care second.

· Among those who named deficit reduction as most important, Brown won 79% to 21%.

· While advocates of reform argue that passing health care reform will reduce the deficit, voters nationwide overwhelmingly believe that the plan will cost more than projected and increase the deficit.

There was a strong correlation between opinions about the president and votes in the Massachusetts race.
· Among those who Strongly Approve of the way Obama is handling the job, Coakley won 96% to three percent (3%).

· Among those who Strongly Disapprove, Brown won 97% to two percent (2%).

· Brown also won the vote from 95% of those who Somewhat Disapprove of the president’s job performance.

·While there was a somewhat similar correlation to views about Democratic Governor Deval Patrick, there was a clear suggestion that perceptions of the governor’s performance hurt Coakley. Among those voters who approve of the president’s job performance but disapprove of the governor’s, Brown won 93% to seven percent (7%)."

Those numbers, if they're accurate, make my point. People can usually be counted on to vote against their own best interests.

Jeff Kaye~ January 20, 2010 6:46 am (Pacific time)

Great article. And now, another quake, courtesy: the Pentagon. Good one. My heart goes out to those poor people with nowhere to go home - some with nobody and nothing left to hold dear. I agree with you on the disillusionment with our governments, Daniel. Politicians are not generally good people, and then they get elected, and they prove it. But the sheeple have spoken, and now Brown takes over where Ted Kennedy reigned for 46 years and fought tirelessly for healthcare reform. Everything seems to be going down the crapper. We badly need a system of healthcare that favors the patient over the insurance companies and lobbyists. With the 60-seat super majority lost in the Senate, so much for that. But at least departing Governernor Corzine did the right thing in New Jersey, and on the perfect day. I do believe MLK might've fired up a blunt to celebrate - were he alive today.

Anonymous January 20, 2010 6:45 am (Pacific time)

We have invaded Haiti? How does providing the immediate mass humanitarian aid that only our military can provide suggest that we are invading this country? So if we just had civilian agencies provide humanitarian relief, how many would have died so far, and in the future? It has been reported in the media that we have several million Haitians living in the states, so it's obvious that we have close ties to this country. Is Canada down there helping? Have other countries brought in their military to help? Are they also invaders? In terms of "socialized medicine", prudent Americans want a health care system that fits us, and there is not one other country that is a model we want to use, so the debate must continue. Also had you been watching the Sci Fi network you would have known our military learned to create earthquakes going back to the big one in San Francisco. They also were the ones who created the Big Bang.

No name and no sense of humour

Winston Smith January 20, 2010 2:42 am (Pacific time)

I respectfully disagree with the implied assumption. You say Obama hasn't been given a chance, what about Sen. Brown? Not that I am a mouth for Sen. Brown, but there is a growing movement of citizens scared to hell by socialized medicine and other possibilities of a filibuster proof senate. But these citizens shouldn't get the right to protect themselves, keep all leaders away because they can't be trusted. They'll probably just make everything worse for us. Right? Each side could say it true of the other. So what are We the People to do? Disregard any up and coming leader for fear of being wrong? Or for fear of not allowing sweeping change go unchallenged? You better hope that sweeping change works, there are a bunch of citizens just waiting for a reason to stretch their bare arms. Obama didn't have to hope for change. It was being given to him on a silver platter. Maybe we need a jester to taste this heaping pile of change before it is force fed to every American.

"scared to hell by socialized medicine"? It's like being afraid of the boogy-man. Every developed nation in the world has some form of what you call socialized medicine but the US is the only country that is economically prostrate. From your comment it sounds like you have a good medical plan, are employed and don't have to rely on food stamps.

"bunch of citizens just waiting for a reason to stretch their bare arms"? Violence seems to be the American answer to everything. Just look at all the countries the US has invaded in the last half century alone. And now Haiti. What puzzles me is how the Pentagon figured out how to start an earthquake. (LOL) DJ

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