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Milestones

In our quasi-democracy form of government there are always a few issues that don’t represent a majority rule.

The most recent issue on the National scene was the election of Donald Trump as President with millions less votes than Hillary Clinton.

Many are still arguing, though pointless, that Clinton should be President. This is not going to happen because our founding fathers established a safeguard to prevent a majority block of our population from wresting rule from a minority block. Enter the Electoral College. You might have to go to college with a major in social studies to figure it out–basically it works like this; “America is a democracy except when it isn’t.”

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Democracy has a lot of lofty goals and phrases like, “Justice for all.”

For generations that applied to anyone that was white.

Thanks to some folks like Martin Luther King, the black population was eventually recognized as human beings and Americans, equality and justice for them began to arrive. So, was America a democracy during that time or not? Yes, for some and no for others.

In the days of the Wild West, justice for all was usually dealt out by whoever oversaw the local laws. It might have been the Sheriff, the Marshall or even the Mayor. The exception here was when a lynch mob arrived with a noose to hang some accused soul who committed a dastardly deed. Justice for all has always been applied in America except when it hasn’t.

Without getting into details ad nauseam, we adopted the idea of juries to determine the fate of villains. This also created lifetime employment for lawyers and judges.

When you get right down to it, as much as we would like to be a democracy of, by and for the people, we are usually only one out of three at any given time.

Let’s take Santa Clara for example. We have elected a City Council to oversee and govern the affairs of the City. So far, we are a democracy of the people through free elections.

These Council members are elected to represent all the people of the City, even the ones who didn’t vote for them. Now we are getting into “iffy” territory since Council members are not there by adverse voters.

What we really have then is a representative form of government. Leaders speaking on behalf of most citizens who voted them into office. These Council members have the power to create, change, modify, adopt, or reject just about any plan or policy they wish. That is, if they can get a four-vote majority.

Our Mayor has significant power to control meetings, direct discussions and influence policy.

She also has several Council members who are very supportive of her issues.

Enter the mobs into Council Chambers where the people now get power. We call these folks City Hall Groupies who have an opinion on everything, talk often and say nothing.

The Council has decided to let everyone have their moment of fame. But every week?

Who has that much time? Who has that much of value to offer? On every issue?

This is when Democracy isn’t.

Ruling by consensus of those present in Council Chambers is not representative government but toned-down lynch mobs at work.

Council members, you are the majority and you are elected to lead. Feel free.

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