2013-10-03 / Columns

Remember When Elections Used to Be the Final Word?


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Can I burn down your house?

Can I burn down your house? --No Just the 2nd floor? --No Garage? --No Let's talk about what I can burn down. --No YOU AREN'T COMPROMISING!(Judd Legum via Twitter) Want to undermine American democracy? Start by making citizens so distrustful and dismissive of each other -- especially of those who are "different" in their political/religious/philosophical convictions or their sexual orientation/ethnicity/race -- that the power of "We the People" dissipates as we tear each other apart instead of confronting democracy's true enemies. As Bill Moyers has said, "There's only one way to counter the power of organized money, and that's with the power of organized people." Political civility is not about being polite to each other. It's about reclaiming the power of "We the People" to come together, debate the common good and call American democracy back to its highest values amid our differences. The civility we need will come not from watching our tongues, but from valuing our differences and the creativity that can come when we hold them well. America was founded on the historically novel and radical premise that conflict and tension, rightly held, are the engine, not the enemy, of a better social order. By holding our differences with hospitality instead of hostility, we can act on that premise, rebuild our civic community and hold power accountable to the will of the people. - Parker Palmer

"The Affordable Care Act was

"The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress, signed into law, and tested in the US Supreme Court and declared constitutional. It's the law of the land. Period" According to Pelosi, they didn't read the Act before they voted for it. Just goes to show what morons they are. Can you say Socialism

Mr. Keeler, When will this

Mr. Keeler, When will this nation ever figure out that we cannot keep spending like drunken sailors. This nation is in debt up to our collective eyeballs and no one cares. The democrats keep spending and spending. Republicans continue to put out balanced budgets, They put out one request that the affordable care act just be postponed for one year, Democrats say no. Ok how about a plan where congress has to use the affordable care act just like everyone else. Democrats say no to that. So who is not negotiating. Why can't some of the media types start putting out the truth about this debate. Somewhere someone has to stop this madness and both the democrats and republicans are to blame. Thanks for letting me vent Just a citizen who is tired of the media malfeasance

We agree, Mr. Keeler. On

We agree, Mr. Keeler. On very many of your well stated points...And that happens rarely as you might guess knowing my life-long liberal leanings. But there is one item left unsaid in your column. The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress, signed into law, and tested in the US Supreme Court and declared constitutional. It's the law of the land. Period. Yet the radical right just can't accept the rules of this democracy we learned in civics class, and so have tried 43 (now I guess 44) times to reject it, losing every time. So now "it throws a temper tantrum and shuts down the government, democracy be damned." Representatives, let's have a straight up and down vote on funding the government in the House. Stop pandering to the Tea Party base for support in the next primary elections and instead govern by the laws of the nation, not by trying to game the system. Pardon the expression borrowed from the progressives when Bush was in office, but it's time for the Republicans to "Move On" before more damage is done to this great nation.

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