Want to know why people are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it any more, so they decide to vote for anyone who appears to be outside the elite cabal that pretends to deliver “democracy?” Here’s a striking example.
During a public comment period during a Seattle city council meeting, Richard Schwartz came to the podium to make his case. He was troubled, as he should have been, that most of the council members were not looking at him, or appeared to be listening. Most were looking at their computer screens or smart phones, scrolling and apparently doing other tasks, or looking at porn, for all he knew. So instead of meekly accepting the disrespect and rudeness of his elected municipal representatives, he called them on it.
“It’s real discouraging to come up here and see all the heads down…,” he began, but Councilwoman Debora Juarez, who was presiding, interrupted , saying “You’re on a two minute timer here, so let’s go.”
Schwartz professed puzzlement at the response, and after standing silently for several seconds, he asked,
“So it was unreasonable for me to ask that people look up and give me their attention?” Juarez answered by telling him that he only had only a minute and 30 seconds left, and lying, saying that he had their attention, when he obviously did not.
Discarding his prepared statement, since it was obvious that the City Council would only observe its obligation to take public comments in form rather than in good faith, Schwartz said that this was why he came to comment: “the state of our democracy.” He pointed out that when State Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Seattle) spoke in a public comment session the previous week, she was four or fine minutes and the council was attentive, while everyone else at that session was limited to a single minute.
“It reminded me of George Orwell’s famous line from ‘Animal Farm’ about how all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,” Schwartz continued. And that’s how I feel like I’m being treated now, just because I was kind of asking for your attention, like I noticed you all were very attentive to Ms. Jaypal last week. And I immediately got a hostile response back from you. I don’t understand that.”
With no response, he asked the council members if they ever responded to constituents. Juarez told him his time was nearly up, as her colleagues either tended to their phones or looked bored.
“Well, it’s all on tape and I think it’s a pretty sad commentary that you think that asking for you guys to look up off of your computers and give attention during the short period of time was an unreasonable thing,” Schwartz said. “I really feel bad about that.”
He should feel bad about that. We all should. Democracy doesn’t work when elected officials treat the public this way; it can’t. This is democracy in name only. The stunning thing is that Seattle’s city council is so corrupted by their own sense of entitlement, wisdom and certitude that no ethics alarms pinged when an engaged voter begged them to pay attention to him for a couple of minutes.
For a second straight post, let me reference this November 9 whine-fest by feminist Jessica Valenti called, “How do I tell my daughter that America elected a racist, sexist bully?”
Valenti makes it clear that her main interest in the 2016 election was that it would elect a woman as President, and apparently any women would do (if she was happy with Hillary, that had to be the case) making her a gender bigot, not that there’s anything wrong with that if it’s the “right” gender. She concludes that she should tell her daughter that …
… sometimes people make bad decisions, and that the wrong people are chosen to lead. We’ll remind her of lessons she’s learned in school about times in her country’s history when we’ve done the wrong thing – horrible things. We’ll remind her of how good people organized and fought, loved each other and believed things could change.We’ll tell her that we will have to be the good people who fight now. And soon, when we’ve had a chance to grieve and gather ourselves, we’ll remind our daughter that part of the reason this man was elected is because of how powerful we actually are. That our power scared him and others who are not ready to change and grow….”
All of which is nice cant and self-aggrandizing dishonesty, and certainly sufficient to begin the long, mind-killing process of indoctrination that the public school system and college experience will almost certainly continue. That’s not what happened, though. If they were honest, and had any objective perspective, they would tell their daughter that:
Power corrupts even good people, and people who become convinced of their own goodness and infallibility are often the ones who become the most corrupt. When this happens to the leaders of a democracy, the democracy is in mortal peril, and a government that is supposed to be of the people, by the people and for the people becomes a cynical sham, where those we put in power wield that power with contempt, disdain, favoritism, and bias, telling the people only what they want the people to know, and governing to stay in power, not to use that power to make society better and just.
We know that our democracy is sick when we hear leaders call those who disagree with them “bad people” because they won’t follow the mob and allow the leaders, who think they know better than the people themselves what is best for them, to continue to mouth inspiring platitudes that their actions seldom match. Thomas Jefferson, who was the author of the Declaration of Independence, wrote to James Madison, one of the primary authors of the Constitution, “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?” Jefferson even went so far as to recommend that the warning should involve taking up arms, but that was a different time. There are better and less violent ways to send the necessary warning today. The system Jefferson helped devise, in its remarkable adaptability that has served the nation so well, arrived at a different method to send the needed warning. Show those arrogant elites who see themselves as rulers who is really in charge still, and do it by electing the perfect symbol of rebellion, a human thumb in the eye. The nation can survive four years of a boorish and impulsive leader; it cannot survive domination by a whole political class that regards the people as cattle to be herded, and democracy as a tool to strangle our liberty and spirit.
And that’s why Donald Trump is President.