Letters to the Editor: The decline of democracy isn’t a both-sides problem
The decline of democracy isn’t a both-sides problem
When I was a child, I learned a lot about democracy. It was during the Depression that I grew up in a city that had no high school but had more than its share of schools and kindergartens where democracy reigned. For more than six years of my childhood, I lived in cities that had no high schools and kindergartens, cities where democracy never, ever reigned. And yet when I looked around, I saw that most of the people in those cities were well educated and well-behaved.
There was a lot that was wrong with those cities, but one thing that was right was that they had democratic institutions that had made their citizens live under the rule of law and democracy.
To be sure, by and large, we as a country did not have democracies in the 1930’s and the 1940’s. And, we did not have parliamentary democracies in the 1960’s and the 1970’s. But it was a rare country that had both democratic institutions and a parliamentary democracy.
When this country began to go in a less democratic direction, most of us were able to see it coming and had a chance to prepare. People in most other democracies were not.
As we began to drift, America slipped toward dictatorship, not because American citizens lacked democracy – they were not free, but because they could not vote.
It is easy to see today all of the signs of a decline in democratic institutions. We have a president who has made himself untouchable. We spend more money than we take from the taxpayers. We are ruled by a small group of wealthy bankers who do not know what they are doing.
We are in danger of being ruled by a small group that has used government to enrich itself and their own friends. We do not have a democratic system of checks and balances. The