Democracy seems dysfunctional, everywhere, in way too many respects. It always has been thus the refrain, “it may not be a good system but it’s the best we can get”. It rarely works at all because rather than reflect the choice of an informed and enlightened majority, it is the result of massive manipulation, institutionally through devices such as gerrymandering and structural devices such as the United States electoral college and senate, but even worse, as a result of massive manipulation by its erstwhile essential defender, the news media, which has devolved into a propaganda spewing behaviorist tool where truth is utterly irrelevant and of course, by globalism’s economic manipulation effectively designed to punish decisions by voters contrary to its interests which dooms experiments with social justice such as those in Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, etc.
Every once in a great while, voters rebel and, rejecting such manipulation, make their own decisions, a phenomenon derided by the mainstream media and ensconced political parties as “populism”. Not that populist decisions are generally correct in any objective sense, I frequently find myself in disagreement with the policies of the resulting governments, but the essence of democracy is that we accept electoral decisions that don’t go our way and hope for the best, even while fearing the worst, waiting for an opportunity to make corrections during ensuing electoral cycles. That concept has been obliterated using the monolithic mainstream media’s de facto monopoly over distribution of information to further the interest of neoliberal-neoconservative deep states embedded almost everywhere. The constant calumny-based attacks against Donald Trump are an example, but so are the calumny based attacks on Jeremy Corbin, Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard and now, on Boris Johnson. De facto treason has become an acceptable, norm and a desirable political tactic.
It is not only the deliberate distribution of false information by the mainstream media at fault, “fake news” reinforced by constant allegations that it is the accurate information that is “fake” (witness the horrendous fate of Julian Assange), but by information that is deliberately excluded, the concept minor political parties in political campaigns have for decades labelled as “murder by silence”, a current example being the mainstream media’s ignoring of the presidential candidacy of Democrat Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. In an important sense, irony and hypocrisy rule, none more blatant than the refusal of the Democratic Party and the mainstream media to accept the results of the 2016 United States presidential election after having accused then candidate Trump as treasonous after one of the presidential debates when, in answer to a question as to whether he would pre-accept the results of that election as valid, notwithstanding unprecedented electoral meddling and manipulation, not by the Russians, but by the Democratic Party, Obama administration and mainstream media (witness their activities against both Mr. Trump and Democratic Party challenger Bernie Sanders). In that specific instance, the mainstream media’s pre-crowned candidate, Hillary Clinton, was portrayed as a patriot when in answer to the same question she hypocritically stated unequivocally that it would be un-American not to do so, despite already being heavily enmeshed in designing a post electoral strategy, in the unlikely event that she lost, seeking to create the impression that a Trump victory could only have been a result of a hijacking of the ignorant electorate (remember the “despicables”) by foreign powers. The irony, of course, did not stop there given the Clinton campaign’s early electoral strategy of touting foreign preference for Mrs. Clinton as president over Mr. Trump, a claim loudly echoed by the mainstream media, which at that time found such “meddling” laudable.
Today, the rejection of democratic electoral results by the losers and the mainstream media have become the norm. Witness the reaction of the mainstream media to the selection of Boris Johnson (someone with whom I will probably frequently disagree) as the new leader of the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party, and thus that country’s new prime minister. Calumny is the norm, perhaps it always has been, and “fake news” omnipresent. And “democracy”? Well, the truth is, that it has rarely if ever really existed in practice, and when it has, the leaders elected have rarely been loyal to the electorate that elected them. And when they have, the world’s economic neoliberal, globalist elites have promptly used neoconservative tools, both economic and military, to assure that the attempt to implement promised policies are doomed to failure and then derided as impossible to attain.
As Bob Dylan asked in his 1962 protest anthem, “Blowing in the Wind”: when will we ever learn? When will we, … ever learn?
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2019; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.
Guillermo Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia although he has primarily lived in the United States of America (of which he is a citizen). Until recently he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and much of his writing is available through his blog at http://www.guillermocalvo.com.