Greatest danger to democracy in the US

[The text once here was taken entire and unaltered and apparently without permission from another message board by Infamous Deperado, where it was posted by another poster who was neither Pink nor ID (or at least better NOT be). As such, it is copyright infringment and it is gone; y’all just have to do without an OP in this thread. Pink, when I said the topic was OK, I didn’t mean I wanted you to post the exact same OP. --Gaudere]

[Edited by Gaudere on 03-15-2001 at 06:56 PM]

The apathetic.

(and perhaps renegade cheesemakers)

Collounsbury, you beat me to the punch - an apathetic, political ignorant/ill-informed, non-thinking populace is indeed the greatest danger to viable democratic institutions.

Can’t say for sure about renegade cheesemakers, though :wink:

I believe the greatest danger to democracy today comes not from those who are merely apathetic, but those who refuse to acknowledge that bad things happen. They are not true optimists, because optimists simply see the good side of things, even not-so-good things. They believe that America can never founder, that it is the perfect country, in all ways, so no bad can come of it.

My friend Jeanae is one such person. She simply refuses to accept that people starve to death in America, or that some people really do beat their spouses, or that there is a significant underclass(for lack of a better word) developing in this country, one that cannot be ignored. These problems cannot be ignored or avoided, yet there is a large group of people, who choose to do just that, whether it’s by their choice or just blindness.

Exactly. I’ve always found it interesting that McCarthyism occurred at a time when we were all sitting around in our little suburbs pretending that everything was swell. While many extremists may try to grab attention through violence, they do so because they are fringe groups, they don’t hold any real power or any chance of getting it.

Um, hello, people? Wasn’t this thread just closed a day or so ago and the OP unceremoniously banned? <cough cough sockpuppet cough>

Esprix

Uh, 'Sprix, read the post of the moderator (Gaudere, IIRC) who closed the thread.

Copied the OP exactly with no reference to the original closed thread? Seems kinda shady to me, but not my call to make.

Carry on.

Esprix

I think the Internet is the biggest danger to democracy. Now just about anybody has the ability to plant stupid ideas in the minds of millions of poorly-educated people incapable of critical thought - some people will believe anything, and it seems they make up a large percentage of the population. The old media could do this as well, but it was somewhat self-regulated, now any nut with a few bucks can feed propaganda to thousands or millions of people, and if propaganda wasn’t dangerous, the military would have given up using it hundreds of years ago.

As I see it, the internet is merely a tool that enables the agenda-minded to influence those who are easily-swayed. The internet poses no intrinsic threat - rather, it is a combination of the agenda-minded, the ignorant and the apathetic[sub]plus the renegade cheesemakers[/sub]that is the greatest threat to democracy.

Yeah, but we always had the apathetic, ignorant, and agenda-minded, but the Internet is relatively new. We still don’t know what kind of effect it will have on society, but I imagine it’s going to be a big one.

I suspect that power will HAVE to be taken away from the masses to counteract this. Voter turnouts will probably continue to get lower and lower as people become more apathetic. When only 10% of the population votes, you only need to get 5.1% of the population voting for your agenda to take control.

I second that motion Esprix.
I never signed up to put on blinders and pretend nothing strange was happening when weird shit starts popping up.

The greatest threat to democracy is the one you don’t see coming (cheesemakers have been mighty quiet of late…hmmm).

One of the best things the US does to avoid its downfall is to allow dissention to stand up and be noticed. It acts as a sort of an escape valve allowing all of the crazies to blow off steam. Repress that stuff and you get things like the French Revoloution where the aristocracy seemed to think everything was peachy right up till they saw a guillotine.

Think about it. What’s more democratic than allowing fundies and tree-huggers and the like a free voice to espouse what they wish?

Nope…the folks you need to worry about are the ones who keep their heads down and work quietly behind the scenes to suit their own needs (which may well be at odds with ‘democracy’).

If we’re not looking for specific groups such as those mentioned in the OP then I’d have to throw my hat in with the apathy crowd for a general symptom that can defeat democracy.

Disparity between rich and poor, concentrated ownership of assets, shrinking middle-class, manufacturing base completely exported to China, illegal immigration, corporate sponsored religion (economic passivism), overpopulation, and America’s superiority complex, which like Rome’s often thinks it can avoid progress and still be America.

Note: Someone once said to me that America has along way to go before it is overpopulated, comparing us to India and China. Beware of any argument that compares us to India and China.

The greatest danger to U.S. democracy will come when the oil starts to run out, and, faced with the collapse of their entire culture, Americans turn to the first totalitarian dictator who promises to solve the problem and bring back the American Way of Life, but only if everyone agrees to turn in all their guns and have bar codes surgically implanted in their foreheads.
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Okay, maybe not…

:smiley:

OK, I’ll bite.

What, exactly, is this “democracy” that’s being threatened?

Honest question.

Liberals! They want to turn our Democratic Republic into a Socialist State where the government takes care of all our needs from cradle to grave. All liberals are not apathetic; they are actively involved in transforming our Democracy. A number of ignorant people have enough intelligence not to be liberals they understand the value fredom and of providing for oneself. And if you think there’s danger in refusing to acknowledge that bad things happen, Liberals think bad things can be prevented if we just let the Government trample a little on our 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc. rights granted to us by our creator.
I think Liberalism (as practiced today) is a chemical process that evolved in the human brain while we lived in caves. Kinda like our tonsils or appendix(I think thats the right word) they probably once performed a very useful function however, today we can live just fine without them; but leave them in when they become inflamed they could kill us. That is liberalism; if left unchecked human progress would grind to a halt and all of mankind could be destroyed.

Badtz Maru - The Internet is probably the best thing to happen to democracy BECAUSE it allows any moron to post any message they like. Before the Internet, the only source for news and information was TV, radio and print. All these forms of media are highly centralized and only a select few have the ability to use them to broadcast their message. With the Internet, anyone can create a site dedicated to their cause. What could be more democratic that that?

By the way, taking power from the masses to preserve a democracy is a contradiction of terms.
Duck Duck Goose - A little paranoid but probably not far off. That’s how Hitler became the ruler of Germany and sort of how McCarthy was able to have so much power.

speaking of which…

ITR champion - McCarthyism did not occur at a time when we were “all sitting around in our little suburbs pretending that everything was swell”. It happened during a time when students practiced hiding under their desks at school, as if it would somehow protect them from nuclear destruction at the hands of the “red menace”.

Totalitarianism/fascism and democracy are just two sides of the same coin. The biggest threat to our democracy is our intollerance for anything that falls outside of the mainstream. When we no longer tolerate views that are not in argeement with out out, we stop being a democracy and become an elected totalitarian state.

Mack Daddy:

:smiley:

That was a brilliant satire of the militia movement, Daddy Mack. I particularly enjoyed the pseudo-biological part of the rant.