Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I'm working on a project at the moment which has led me to the question: What is democracy as we know it today? I realized that my conception of democracy today may not mirror the general consensus of what democracy is today. I specifically want to know about democracy in America and your thoughts on American democracy. What is America's idea of democracy? I do not want a cut-and-paste dictionary definition of democracy. I am interested in what you think democracy is and how it compares, if at all, with the ideal of democracy, which also means that I am asking you to refrain from responding to other comments or using other's comments as a basis for your response. Please leave a comment about your thoughts below. Thank you very much for participating in this discussion. I will be using your comments to gain a generalized consensus of what Americans think about democracy. All comments will be thoroughly considered and, if used somewhere in my project, will be credited to the author (you), after I have received your permission to do so. Thanks again for your participation.

Edited to add: It has, unfortunately, come to my attention that people think I'm attempting to engage people in a debate about democracy. This is NOT meant to engage people in a debate about democracy or what democracy is today. This is more like a poll in order to gain a general consensus about democracy. I will not be judging responses. I merely want to gain a better-rounded view of what people think about democracy. Thanks again for your participation.


Twitchy Knitter said...

Ideally, IMO, it's when everyone can agree to disagree and not feel the need to exterminate each other in the process. When we can all be who we are and accomodate others because it's the decent thing thing to do (not because we are mandated to do so).

Valerie said...

Democracy is what we would like to think we have. We want to think that the people we vote for is the best for us. However, ultimately democracy is a facade to make us feel a part of things. It makes us sleep better at night. The politicians behind the scenes make sure you go for them, through propaganda, media or any other means necessary. And if you don't go for them based on brainwashing, well there is always the money that can get them what they want. No offense but Bush being elected should have shown us that.

crissy said...

Democracy is to have the freedom to...

Differentiate between what is mine and what is yours and having the courtesy to know not to steal from you, not borrow with out returning, not to destroying what is yours and not replace it, and or never to wish I owned it instead of you to the point it drives me crazy enough to take it from you with any means necessary to dislodge your hold on your own possessions .

Emotionally know when what I am doing is right or wrong and having the courage to stand up and admit it. To know also what is the right path to take and to have the honor and maturity to take it .

Make any moral stand I need to see me through the worst of times and the best of times with the same honor my forefathers instilled in me and in my country

Over coming any burden life brings my way with dignity and to know when others are in need of help to have the courtesy and common sense to reach out and help them as well. For in doing so I exercise the freedoms given to me which is the ability to share with others with out fear of repression or retribution from unknown jealous forces. Who would rather I never helped anyone at all.

Courageously to stand up for my beliefs as well as for those that don't have the strength to do so themselves.

Recognize that while not all men and woman are economically, religiously or racially the same we are indeed created equal and as such deserve to be treated as such.

Acquire all the riches,knowledge, possessions, or awesome memories I want in one life time to dream big and follow those dreams as big as they may be to me or as small as others may see them from where they stand. And yet in doing so know that all that passes through my hands or is granted to me or I work for is not totally mine to hog but mine to share as I see fit.

Courageously to stand up when my country calls and give all that I have and in doing so if need be to lay down my life to defend the democracy of others or if I am the mother or father sister or brother of one willing to serve my country in time of need to stand with honor at all times and be proud of them for doing so . Because the commitment to do so on ones part is a family matter and not just that of one individual. And as a fellow country man or woman to honor not just those that serve but their family members as well.

Yield NOT ONE FREEDOM given to me by those that have gone before or those that laid down their lives as a price for the freedoms democracy gives me today

Anonymous said...

Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding on what's for dinner.

Sharon said...

As far as systems of government go, democracy is an ideal. Americans have been force-fed the stars and stripes, freedom, Mom-and-apple pie and democracy all rolled into one for decades, and I think that now, those things are interchangeable for many people and they all mean the same thing. I know today is Mother's Day, and I'm not knocking motherhood or any of the other symbols of American democracy--I'm just saying that while the American government attempts to carry out its version of democracy, it does so with limitations and flaws, and also has been forcing it on other countries and cultures with audacity for decades with very little opposition or even awareness on the part of most Americans. I am not anti-American, I love my country, but I have spent time living in another developed country which has a democratic parliamentary government (Japan) and my understanding of the concept of democracy took on new meaning while overseas. I hope I have made at least some sense of my thoughts on a complex subject, thanks for giving me a forum to express them.

Inagaddadavida_Loca said...

The irony of all of this is that what people think about Democracy doesn't matter. You're gonna get a flag waver whose M.O. is everything that's great about America, but he won't hesitate to call for a Constitutional amendment to discriminate against gays. Or you'll get someone else who feels that guns are the symptom, rather than violence, and that the Constitution needs to be changed to make America safer. What they think doesn't matter because the large part of the Bell Curve hosts the average American clod.

In other words, the will of the people doesn't matter because they could be creating an atmosphere that ends up being very un-Democratic. Democracy in America involves the profound idea that the minority can be protected by tyranny of the majority, and for all its imperfections in applying that idea, America works because of it.