Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Is Democracy An Esoteric Concept?

Many Republicans and especially Trump’s dedicated base don’t have time for democracy. "The Big Lie" has actually thrown doubt on the voting process itself. The mixture of skepticism and despair on the part of the disenfranchised and dispossessed create a potent cocktail that’s employed in such a way that any election can be challenged. In a democracy irrational passions are tamed by reason--something which requires discipline. The Republican party has become a cult where doubt is promiscuously applied to undermine both rationality and empirical truth. It’s like Philosophy 101 where you learn about solipsism and the possibility that the world doesn’t exist.The fact is  democracy is a rather sophisticated proposition dependent on rather subtle and fragile assumptions. Many essential tenets of democracy like, for example, inalienable rights, are counterintuitive. It’s the opposite of majority rules, relying as it doesn’t on the notion of the one versus the many. Due process is another element of democratic thought that can be difficult to understand when a demagogic leader is revving up what’s ultimately a lynch mob. There’s always the urge to make an exception. Yes, it’s wrong to dispense with the law, but what’s the harm in twisting the facts just this one time? Doesn’t the end justify the means? Trump inspires a loyalty that abrogates many cherished assumptions of a free society. One of the first steps in overturning the rights of the electorate is to allow state legislatures to overrule the will of the people—under the theory that a governing body knows more than those who supposedly elected it. Freedom and liberty may seem like fungible concepts, but freedom as Oliver Wendell Holmes pointed out in Schenck v. US doesn’t include the right to cry “fire” in a crowded theater. 

read "MAGA and the Coronavirus" by Francis Levy, The East Hampton Star

and watch the trailer for Erotomania

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