Friday, August 21, 2009

Democracy in trouble?

An anti Obama, protester (Kenneth Gladney) goes to a St Louis townhall to protest Obama's health care reforms. He gets into a fight with someone at the town hall and gets badly injured. It is found that he does not have health insurance (as he is recently laid off and presumably cannot afford COBRA) so he now resorts to begging for donations so he can pay to get treated???

No this is not from The Onion.....This is reflective of the intelligence of the people who are protesting healthcare reforms in the US.

It is quite evident that these people are not acting in their best interest? It would seem that these protesters are acting emotionally and behaving in a way that seems to support their inherent prejudices. This has happened many times in the last 8 years

For example, Kerry was a war hero but the GOP were able to cast doubt on his bonafides through Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth PAC. Ditto for Georgia Democratic Senator Max Cleland who lost three limbs in Vietnam. Since both Kerry and Cleland are Liberals, gullible people are led to believe that any war record that they may have cannot be legitimate. (Because after all Liberals "hate" America). Therefore they are marginalized and discredited and because the mainstream media is reluctant to take strong stances on any accusation (perhaps its the desire to be fair and unbiased or perhaps its a desire to foster a fight to improve ratings). So we get the ridiculous situation where someone like George W Bush (a clear draft evader and layabout in the 1970s) gets to have his service in the Alabama air guard equated to a decorated war hero who won 7 medals in Vietnam.

So many poor white Southerners supported the Bush tax cuts and Death (Estate) Taxes although they had no reason to do so as they obtained no benefits from that support. Since they were poor they paid very little in income taxes anyway and since they were poor the estate tax didn't apply to them (as it kicked in at $5m). Although they would have presumably benefited more if the taxes (on the rich) was redistributed to them via the federal government they still voted for Bush in droves because he was a "Christian" and spoke to their inherent prejudices and fears (gay marriage, illegals, abortion etc)

If a democracy depends on an informed electorate then the US is fucked. I am starting to believe that Democracy as a form of govt maybe way over rated. However the words of the imperialist and racist Winston Churchill echo in my head...."Democracy is the worst system except for all others".

How about meeting half way and having democracy without universal suffrage? Maybe only those who can pass a general knowledge, civics and IQ test get to vote. (This would exclude at least 50% of the overall population and probably 90% of the Southern population which would be a damn good thing!!)

Dev Rajakumar RIP

My team mate, co worker Devaprasad Rajakumar drowned in Algonquin Park last Sunday. He was one of the nicest people to be around and he will be missed. The saddest part of this story is that Dev was scheduled to fly home to Bangalore last Sunday but he decided to postpone his return to Monday to make the trip with some of his friends. Dev was only 30 years old......I had just seen him two weeks ago when I was in the Toronto office....Life is fragile. My thoughts and prayers are with Dev and his family....One cannot imagine what they must be going through.....