Tag: Democracy

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I (and many others) have been saying for a while now that America is set to enter a “hell period” sometime around 2018-2022, as the so-called “demographic mismatch” between a large cohort of retiring white Boomers and an electorate that is trending less so really starts to bite. To my knowledge, most countries do not […]

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In the dramatic closing moments of 2017, the following has happened: United States President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem the Capital of Israel. Jerusalem, the heartbeat of the Jewish people, was described in the Old Testament as a gift from God. In the same week, the UN declared it null and void. One hundred and twenty-eight […]

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Quote of the Day: Democracy

 

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” — Winston Churchill

Yes, he also said democracy is the worst form of government, except all others, but watching the votes this Tuesday makes me sympathetic to what I chose as a quote today. As H.L. Mencken said: “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

On this AEI Events Podcast, experts convened at the American Enterprise Institute to celebrate Pew Research Center’s new report on global public opinions of democracy.

In his introductory remarks, Pew Research Center’s Richard Wike outlined the main findings of the report, which collected data from 38 countries to explore international support of democracy and attitudes toward nondemocratic forms of government. He explained that while the report’s data suggested broad support for representative and direct democracy worldwide, significant minorities endorsed nondemocratic alternatives.

In this AEI Events Podcast, AEI’s Michael Barone hosts Cass Sunstein, author of “#Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media” (Princeton University Press, March 2017). Mr. Sunstein’s book explores how the internet once promised to be the great equalizer, removing barriers between people and fostering the exchange of ideas. However, today’s internet is driving political fragmentation and polarization.

Mr. Sunstein offers some possible solutions for social platforms which would allow users to see varying opinions. He discusses that exposure to opinions different that one’s own are essential in fostering a healthy democracy.

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There is a Khmer saying that translates to “a mountain cannot be ruled by two tigers.” And that saying manifested in a coup d’état in Cambodia twenty years ago. It all started with the result of the UN-backed Cambodia’s general election in May 1993. The country elected the royalist FUNCINPEC, led by Norodom Ranariddh. But […]

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Years ago, I worked for a consulting firm in an administrative capacity. We were worldwide, and consulted to the following: Automotive, Chemicals and Process Industry, Electronics, Energy, Financial Series, Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals, Semi-conductor, Telecommunications, Manufacturing, Aerospace and Defense, and other markets. If you can imagine any leaders in these fields, we consulted to them, including […]

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Undermining Our System

 

Hillary ClintonBecause of what came later – Donald Trump’s refusal to say whether he’d accept the results of the election – Hillary Clinton’s similar, if somewhat less incendiary remark about our system’s legitimacy went nearly unnoticed.

Right out of the box, responding to a query from Chris Wallace about the Supreme Court (and let me add my voice to the general hosannas for his mature and professional conduct), Hillary Clinton implied that a Supreme Court decision she disliked, Citizens United v. FEC, “undermined the election system in our country because of the way it permits dark, unaccountable money to come into our electoral system.”

In this, she is echoing others in the Democratic Party. Sen. Bernie Sanders, put it this way:

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What makes a government legitimate? What does legitimacy mean in regard to politics?  I have been wondering, again, about the conditions which require obedience to unjust laws. The question of legitimacy seems the most fundamental form of that ethical conundrum. Laws express authority. Before one accepts the laws of representatives or rulers, one must accept […]

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How Do Dictatorships Fall?

 

Asked about Obama’s foreign policy achievements, his defenders always trot out Cuba as a historic diplomatic success. In their minds, the re-establishment of relations with that small, impoverished, long-suffering dictatorship falls somewhere between Commodore Perry’s breaking down the door to Japan in 1853 and Nixon’s China gambit on the Richter scale of statesmanship.

The mantra of our Cuba policy objectives is “a rapid, peaceful transition to democracy.” According to our State Department:

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Allan Bloom says somewhere that Americans are the funniest people, because nowhere else will you ever hear someone say Mr. Aristotle. I think that is meant to show how good manners are mostly a matter of innocence. I came to think of that today. I teach kids how thinking works, grammar, & language. You know […]

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Does Marco Rubio Know What He’s Doing?

 

Maybe saying Marco Rubio is clueless is a little harsh, but the most recent did debate did confirm a lot of my fears about him, even if his chief critic was blatantly hypocritical.

The issue of readiness to be the president came up, leading to an exchange between Marco Rubio and Chris Christie in which Christie intimated that Rubio is just a Republican version of Obama. But what really sunk Rubio was his endless repetition of the same talking point. He even responded to Christie pointing that out by repeating the same canned lines again. I imagine it must have been very painful to strong Rubio fans. But pretending it doesn’t bring a serious flaw to light won’t make that flaw vanish.

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Akira Kurosawa is the most famous of the Japanese directors & one of the directors with an acknowledged, plausible claim to title, greatest director. This is a difficult thing to decide. We have to consider that & why he admired John Ford. If people who admire Kurosawa are right about him, that would suggest John Ford […]

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Some of my fellow Ricochetti know I am of the opinion that we do not have enough comedy. What follows is an utterly accurate account of an utterly accurate bio-pic verified by many scrupulous scholars & consulted upon by many key witnesses, all people who were sober at the time. While Hollywood has moved away from bio-pics […]

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When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace. They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease. But when we disarmed They sold us & delivered us bound to our foe & the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.” That’s […]

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I’m sure you all know of the worldwide–world-historical, as our Marxist friends would say–popularity or importance of Miss Taylor Swift. May I draw your attention to the title of her recent album of such popular music? 1989. Say it with me, if not for my sake, then for Miss Berlinski’s: 1989 is really about what’sherface! […]

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Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton demonstrated her position on the power of the Federal government in a republican democracy during a campaign stop in Waterloo, IA, the other day. The New York Times cited her as saying about Democratic Party presidential candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders (D, VT): Sanders wanted to scrap it [Obamacare] […]

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In September 1843, Dickens started writing this little book, which seems to be our only modern Christmas myth. He was done in early December &, after deciding to pay for publication himself, he failed to make anything like the profit he expected. But the book has never been out of print & to it we […]

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