FYI — What America Would Look Like If It Were A Real Democracy

I’ve been listening to the news for years now, and I’m fascinated/sad/angry by the difference between what Americans, on the whole, believe and what laws, policies, etc. actually look like.

First among the controversial issues that the government (judicial, legislative and executive branches) is abortion. While numerous states, courts, and legislators rush to judgement about abortion. Americans , by and large believe that women have a right to decide about their bodies and there are complexities involved in conception and childbirth that we have never faced or even considered. Americans don’t believe in either the pro-abortion or the anti-abortion position.

No woman wakes up one morning and says to herself, “I think I’ll have an abortion” or “I want to kill any life within me”. No woman says to herself, I want to be raped, have incest, or want to die so this baby can live without a mother. No woman wants to watch her child die — in her body or outside of it. No woman wants to see her child suffer in her body or outside of it.

Women are both capable of knowing who they want in their vaginal cavity. Because of that, they are capable of being responsible for anything that happens as a result of someone being there. Americans want to let them make those decisions and give them the tools and support to make those decisions. Americans also want them to make that decision by discussing it with good men who want the best for them, and medical professionals who know what they are doing. In short, most Americans are actually pro-life. They are not pro-pregnancy or pro-abortion. They want the best for the people they love and whom they intentionally create .

Next controversy : Americans, far and wide, gun owners and non- gun owners alike, want assault weapons banned. Every single day in America in 2023 there’s a mass shooting, There is no one who isn’t touched by this. The number of people that have lost their lives in the years since Columbine is absolutely huge.

Why? People around the world can tell us, people with no political axe to grind. Assault weapons do exactly what they are supposed to do — kill, and kill a lot of people. Why would we even make them for general use by your average person? There should be no market for civilians to buy them. No gun maker should be able to sell them. Period.

Yes, there will still be mental health issues here, but we won’t be creating them via mass trauma. Yes, a mad person could kill people with a knife, but it’s a lot harder to have the same impact. Yes, we have a Second Amendment which is part of our culture, so we can’t take away all guns. Yes, hunters use guns, and they should be able to. They are not the the problem. Real gun owners understand guns and know what they are doing around them. The look to be safe and responsible. Tragedies will happen, but most Americans want to stay alive and they want the people they know to remain alive.

Financially, the amount that we spend to protect ourselves from these weapons, the amount we pay out in insurance for the murder of those killed, the lawsuits involved — all of these things are caused by assault weapons which are designed for just such an occasion. People who care about money at all know that, in addition to the human cost (and that can’t be overstated, of course) should understand this.

Nearly every poll I have seen or heard about say that most democrats and most Republican voters want assault weapons banned. Again, if America was a democracy and the voices of the people mattered, the scourge of mass killings would end simply by banning the guns make war on civilians possible.

The last thing I see that is controversial in political circles, but not much at all among citizens is gerrymandering. The fact some politicians get to make any vote have less importance is a tragedy and yet when maps are drawn for districts, the point is almost to make one political party dominant. That’s not right.

There must be a way to have non-partisan groups doing the design. I don’t know how we make that happen, but we must. I know that former Attorney General Eric Holder and former-President Obama have been involved in fighting for such things, with a group called “All On The Line “. They are very clear that they want pro-democracy, not pro- Democrats re-districting.

That said, I’m not sure Republicans can buy into anything with the Obama name on it. In the meantime, look around and find someone who is doing the work and join them.

Right now, we have a government that doesn’t seem to be responsive to the majority of Americans. Last time I checked, we didn’t call that a functioning democracy. First, we have to force politicians to listen by giving them actual skin in the game. If they can’t be voted out, they don’t care what we think.

Once they actually are listening, far fewer people will die due to gun violence. That’s what the people want, and that’s what the government can provide. Doing something is better than almost nothing we’re doing now. Thousands not dying is a good thing, obviously, and a majority of people want that.

Then, a stable rule of government, figured out by elected representative who actually represent the majority of people, that keeps women (who are already alive) and deals with the fetus as respectfully as possible, taking into account all of the health issues of the mother, especially ones non-medical men don’t even understand or know about, and using the best medical advice possible. This might be as as simple as government backing out of the situation altogether, and letting doctors decide the best course of treatment, in consultation with the mother, the father and all involved parties. Whatever it is, we need to do it, and we need to do it as soon as we can, — most Americans want this as well. It ought not be that hard through a democratic process which respects citizens.

If America at this moment in time were a democracy, we’d have less deaths and less division, meaning culture skirmishes rather than culture wars.

Let’s make government work again, shall we?

Resisting With Peace,



No Justice And No Peace for Easter?

No! No! No! No! And No! The Republicans in the Tennessee Legislature, while I listened to it live on the radio, said ‘You want to cry? We’ll give you something to cry about!’, to the people of Tennessee ! Like any abusive parent, that legislature punished reasonable protest and seems to feel self-satisfied about it. Lest there be any doubt about their character, the punished peaceful protesters for asking for peace itself. Then, they actively decided to punish who they felt like — people of dark skin — while not punishing a Caucasian women who committed the exact same “crime”.

Here’s the story. Three members of the Tennessee Democratic Party including one who started his term after the most recent election joined a peaceful protest by local students over gun control and were charged with breaking parliamentary rules of decorum and a vote was called to expel them. The young man explained that 1) he didn’t know about the rules, 2) that they were being used indiscriminately, and 3) at the time this happened, the legislators were on a recess, so he didn’t think, logically, that he could violate legislative rules if the legislature wasn’t in session, according to its own records. They voted him and the other Black man out anyway.

Then, to make matters worse, when it came time to expel the third person in the group, a White woman, they declined. So now, they had made it clear that not only was it wrong for students to want to stay alive, it was was wrong for two elected Black men to use their voice, it was wrong for his constituents to want to be represented in Tennessee. To her credit, she has said that she thought the decision was racially motivated.

In short, within a democracy, a legislature said there would be no justice for students, Black people in general, Black men specifically, city people (the districts they represented are in the largest cities of Tennessee) all who simply want to stay alive. And all of them will lose their rights because they weren’t polite enough? How many ways can injustice be done in one day, in one act?!

This cannot stand. Yet, in this Maundy Thursday, and now Good Friday, it does. As the man on the floor of the prayed the psalms aloud, I thought, “I want to see Easter”. I want to see peace and justice and representation in Tennessee and in all of America. I want to see, and I to be a part of, what comes next.

Resisting With Peace,