Democracy as Farce

I’ve already said that I don’t have a horse in the US presidential race. I’m too much of a cynic, but I do pray that the person who will bring the most justice to the world will ultimately be in office.

That being said, I am still tangentially following the debates happening in social media and the news, especially the Bernie vs Hillary discussion.

What I find notable is how some argue that they support Clinton over Sanders because Sanders is “not electable.” They argue that Sanders’ vision for government is not practical and for that reason it is better to put one’s support behind an insider who will get things done, namely Clinton.

If we take a step back, what do these arguments say about the Democratic process? The promise of democracy is to allow people to vote and select representatives based on their deepest convictions and values. But every election cycle in every country around the world demonstrates how naive this vision for governance really is and how easily this vision is hijacked and transformed into a fight about pragmatism, “lesser of two evils,” etc.

A lot (not all) of the arguments from Clinton supporters telling us to prefer her over Sanders are not based on anything claimed to be inherently wrong with Sanders’ policies or any principled disagreement over his views. And one would think that democratic political discourse would revolve around a substantive discussion of those issues. Rather, much of the argumentation boils down to bickering about electability, practicality, etc. Why would anyone invest himself in such a circus show? How could anyone look at this process and not come away from it a hardened cynic?

 

I've already said that I don't have a horse in the US presidential race. I'm too much of a cynic, but I do pray that the…

Posted by Daniel Haqiqatjou on Friday, February 12, 2016

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