Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Democracy?? Who needs it!?!?

Today’s post-election thrill in NY is palpable.  Have been getting calls and emails from all over the world today---the collective euphoria and sighs of relief still reverberate.

Yep, I was wrong about the course of this campaign and happily so.  For a good time, you can (re)read my mea culpas on my Oct 28  blog entry.  I never saw this wave coming until I was swept up in it very late in the game. So be it.  I think I’ll stick to blogging and media management consulting, where I can do less harm J

On another note---the people giveth and the people taketh away.  Among the several sour notes in an otherwise picture perfect election day was the outcome of the California vote on proposition 8, the ban on gay marriage.  The ban was approved by a 52-48 margin in a state that went 61% for Obama.  How could this have happened?

Those more knowledgeable will be slicing and dicing the results for weeks and months to come.  Initial analysis is that African American voters in LA County were an important contributor to the defeat of gay marriage.  If so, how ironic and how tragic.

I hope common sense and sober-minded planning restrain LGBT leaders and others in the movement from pursuing legal remedies to overturn the results through the courts out west.  Can’t we just lose this one and move on with the education process we need to undertake, especially in the minority populations that should be our natural allies in this struggle for equality and basic civil rights?

Here’s the bigger issue:  democracy sucks.  Popular votes are terrible remedies for resolution of tough political and social issues.  And California legislators and political leaders should be condemned for abdicating their political responsibilities and turning over issues to the people to decide in popular referenda.  The Founders, in their wisdom, enshrined a republic and not a democracy, as our form of government in the Constitution.

What is great about the republic I pledged allegiance to for nearly ten years as a school kid is that the people express their will through the election of presidents and legislators, not by voting up or down on the political issues of the day.  The Founders, again wisely, threw a lot of sand in the gears of government so that the rights of minorities would be protected from the stampedes of an unfettered majority.  We need to avoid outcomes such as yesterday's in California, where democracy ran amok.  We are not going to win this battle this way.  

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