Saturday, June 11, 2022

5 Poison Pills


 A provision for amending the Constitution for a growing and changing country was a wise idea by the founders. But they could not foresee what the future held.

Apart from lowering the voting age to 18 in 1971, the last time any rights were expanded or protected was in 1964, when the right to vote “shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay poll tax or other tax”.

That was well over half a century ago. Republicans are now conspiring new ways to obstruct and deny voter rights. They are building the political machinery that would overturn elections if they lose.

In this century the chances of passing a Constitutional Amendment are nil. The radical Right and Supreme Court are systemically shutting down reproductive and voting rights. Progress is being reversed. The “living Constitution” is dead in the water, a relic of past times. 

For the most part the Bill of Rights is the sustaining and essential feature of our law of the land. But the founders left huge obstacles for a free democratic republic to overcome.

The consequences are very much still with us, and ominously threatening our democratic republic more than any foreign adversary could. Rich White men made sure they would rule, and still have dominant political power.

The founders wittingly and unwittingly poisoned the republic with five massive impediments to democracy, justice, and stability.

1. Slavery

Slavery, racism and white supremacy were enshrined in the Constitution with long term consequences. Even some Republicans understand the residual effects of this racism. Liz Cheney tweeted on 5-16-22: “The House GOP leadership has enabled white nationalism, white supremacy, and anti-semitism. History has taught us that what begins with words ends in far worse. GOP leaders must renounce and reject these views and those who hold them.”

2. Lifetime Supreme Court Justices

The legacy is a lifetime appointment of an unaccountable Supreme Court with no code of ethics. The wife of  Justice Thomas actively worked to overturn our election.

3. The 2nd Amendment

It was about organized, “well regulated” state militias, ostensibly to defend their territory and people from armed insurrection. They had the right to bear muzzle loading arms. The Historical record shows militias killed Native Americans, and were used by Southern states to hunt slaves and to defend slavery by waging war on the United States.

To this day, waging war on the Federal Government and the Republican Party’s adversaries is the justification for a large percentage of purchasers of AR-15 style weapons.

Weapons of mass murder are easily acquired by young and unstable people. 37,200 Americans died from guns in 2021.

169 Americans, mostly children, have been killed in school-related mass shootings in America since 1999, when two teenage students rampaged through Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. 

President Biden noted: “Over the last two decades, more school-aged children have died from guns than on-duty police officers and active-duty military combined.” The CDC reports 42,507 firearm deaths of children ages 5 through 18 over that time span.

According to the Defense Casualty Analysis System there were 25,527 active-duty military deaths between 2001 and 2020. The National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) lists 3,583 deaths from active-duty officers in 2001-2020. Between the military and the police, that’s a total of 29,110.

And there are STILL paranoid gun nuts and greedy voices of the industry calling for “more guns” as the solution.

4. The Electoral College

How can a "bastion of democracy" allow a minority to elect a president and control congress, essentially subordinating the will of the people as political hostages to rural white people? 

This has been a disastrous failure in our so-called experiment in representative democracy.

Bush and Trump both won the White House with fewer votes, and stacked the Supreme Court with Federalist Society selected, anti-choice, Catholic judges who favor corporate interests and the ideology of the conservative minority of American voters. Thank the slave states for this terrible compromise.

5. The unrepresentative, disproportionate, anti-democratic Senate

About 30% of Americans, again mostly white rural Americans, control 50% of federal legislators. Fueled by racial resentments stoked by Trump and the Radical Right, White Americans were the only racial/ethnic group with a majority of Trump voters. This assures minority rule and marginalization of the majority.

All five of these poison pills doomed our republic from the beginning, and eventually tore our country apart. I'm thinking the only path to a democratic representative republic is through eliminating corporate personhood and protection of voter rights. It wouldn't hurt to see demographic changes that put White Americans squarely in the minority, either. 

No, not by "replacing" them. They'll still be around.

Our founders' ideal of consent of the governed cannot be realized until radical White nationalism is subdued. The radical Right must be voted out of power and lose their war on our democracy. Too many White people are blinded by the Right, to the absurd degree that a large percentage of conservative White Americans have been duped by white nationalist propagandists into believing THEY are the "real victims" of racism. 

Too many irrational bigots and authoritarians are their leaders.

Therefore, in the interests of democracy and equality, the radical white right needs to be outnumbered and outvoted by significant numbers of Americans who deserve a voice and fair representation. 

Otherwise. the American Dream will continue to be suffocated in its sleep.


Anonymous said...

I'll wait for people more intelligent and less biased than you to decide how the Constitution should be rewritten.

Dave Dubya said...

Your inability to dispute, or even intelligently discuss, any points I've made assures me that you're not more intelligent or less biased than I am.

Thank you. For nothing.

Foreigner said...

As foreigner, I see at as blessing to not be involved in such hard talks like in this post.

But still, there is issues that I interested in too.
That is about freedom in the Internet.
As USA is like lighthouse in that regard and any laws that would be adopted there, will be applied or replicated everywhere.

I like earlier Internet. which was like virtual space of (total?) freedom.
But recently, it became more and more un-free. By all that mega-corporation that tend to invent each own set of obscure and devoid of possibility to appeal rules.
To which I as grown in USSR times of total censure feel suspicious and even alergic.

Interested to hear your opinion about that.

Dave Dubya said...

Yes, we have our problems in the US, but Ukraine has a full blown crisis and war. History is still an important consideration for people to understand why all this is happening.

Putin and other autocrats will distort history for their selfish purposes. It happens in the US as well.

You concern is valid, but as in every aspect of education, the truth should be what is taught. Even in America, conservative politicians want to dictate what can and cannot be taught.

They are censoring the history of slavery and racism, calling in "Marxist Critical Race Theory". They are banning the 1619 Project (When slavery was introduced to America) and references to sexuality. They want to remove books they don't like from libraries, and even burn them.

Public education is constantly attacked by the radical Right and demonized as "Marxist indoctrination".

There will always be the risk presented by those who benefit from mis-education, or propaganda.

Mis-education is very real in the US as in many other places. The former slave states "whitewash" their history of racism, and this will only make it harder for dealing with the ongoing effects of racism.

Maybe basic history and geography should be in a setting that is not graded. I would add civics as well. Citizens should know how their government and elections operate. People may only remember some of it, but some is better than none.

Most Americans could not pass a citizenship test that immigrants must take to be citizens.

When television first arrived, people thought it would be a perfect means to educate citizens. And it does in many cases, but it also does the opposite. It became a tool to expand advertising, corporate profits, and biased political programs, rather than as source of information.

The internet is also such a double edged sword. Corporate and political propaganda dominate mush of the "information" content. Unfortunately lies spread and gain more power than facts.

With freedom comes responsibility.

Too many people want the freedom, but ignore the responsibility.

Dave Dubya said...

Anonymous in the peanut gallery has nothing to say other than making it about me.

"Dave doesn't understand the Bill of Rights or that we are a Constitutional Republic."

Anonymous doesn't understand the Constitution was meant to be amended for "a more perfect union".

He can't support his lie about me with facts or evidence. Ignorance and personal attacks are so much easier than rational conversation.

For some reason the poor thing craves attention from me.


Dave Dubya said...

To those who wish to comment at my blog:

Most comments are made in good faith and are based on some thoughtful perspective. Others are not.

In an effort to promote good faith discussion in these comment threads, I will offer a handy format to facilitate this process.

First, I’m not going to argue with anyone who accuses me of bias. They are correct. And it is also correct THEY are biased as well. It’s part of human nature.

If they can’t see this simple truth, chances are they have nothing of substance to contribute.

Obviously I welcome the input from anyone who agrees, or has something to add.

I am also open-minded enough to welcome contradiction, correction, or simple disagreement, if presented in a civil manner. Personal attacks, rudeness, racism, etc. are not in good faith and are not welcome.

To assist those who wish to express their disagreement with any of the facts or reasoning in my posts, I offer this easy form to guide you with your thoughtful rebuttal.


I would question, take issue with, or refute, your stated information or position, “__________”. (Please use MY words, not your altered interpretation.)

From my point of view, my dissenting opinion, more accurate information, or more reasonable assessment would include the following points:

Copy, paste, and fill in, if you please, or paraphrase along this guideline in your own words.

I hope this helps. Although I fully understand those who lack good faith will ignore it anyway.


Anonymous said...

There can be no serious discussion with such a biased person as you. You have out right told people not to comment at your blog unless they agree with you. As close minded as one can get. So continue to believe you are serious as you ban people who refuse to agree with you.

Dave Dubya said...


So, it's STILL all about me, is it? Thanks for confirming my judgment of your inability to comment in good faith.

Do you comprehend the fact that by posting your ludicrous whine, I just made a liar out of you?

I edit out rude and bad faith insults, like yours.

I don't ban people. Never have. In fact, you’re projecting. YOU have banned ME, sport. And you don't have the guts or integrity to identify yourself apart from every other anonymous commenter.

If you were interested in good faith discussion, you wouldn't need to lie about me:

"You have out right told people not to comment at your blog unless they agree with you."

Got a quote to prove this accusation?

Of course not. Nowhere have I said this. Maybe you have voices in your head that you think are me saying those things?

You are as thin-skinned and vindictive as Darrell, your partner in banning me. Or maybe you have deeper psychiatric issues.


But go on, whine and play your victim card, because you're not clever or decent enough to engage in good faith discussion.

For someone who adds NOTHING to a conversation, you throw quite a tantrum.

Your obsession with me personally tells me you have issues, Jerry.

Dave Dubya said...

Jerry, or "not Jerry",

Maybe you should tell us who I have banned? Or why not quote me where I said I wouldn't allow comments "unless they agree"?

A smart guy like you should find that quite easy. ;-)

Go ahead. Let's make it about the "real victims" instead of me.

You can be their noble and heroic defender.

I'll wait...

Jack said...

Howdy Dave!

Some time ago I came to the conclusion that the great experiment in democracy was over and parliamentary democracy seemed the superior option. As the Trump years wore on, I started to think that a two-party system was the least democratic of the democratic systems. Every political position on every issue had to held by one of two parties or it did not have a chance to be addressed by our government. And, it seems to invite the intransigence that we've seen from the Republican Party in terms of governing.

Newt Gingrich's notion of a permanent majority and Ted Cancun Cruz's notion that it's simple, you just don't compromise are anti-democratic and express the desires of the GOP.

Refusing to govern or acknowledge the opposition as legitimate political voices and options is the death knell of democracy. It is literally killing our democracy. It makes it impossible to legislate and now to have faith in the judiciary or any of our institutions.

I don't know what the long-term solution is, but the short-term solution is to vote Democratic. At least, they will promote democracy.


Dave Dubya said...


Thank you for your thoughtful views.

There has got to be better way to elect politicians and run a country. Diagnosing the impediments to democracy is always easier than correcting or eliminating them.

A parliamentary system would be better, especially with multiple parties and proportional representation. We won't be seeing that in the US.

Political and economic powers are too entrenched.

Democracy is in decline for so many reasons, but mostly due to the utter corruption in how our government is chosen and operated.

In every system there are rulers and the ruled. Unfortunately our rulers are dancing on the strings of their owners.

The corporate/economic elites undermine the will of the people through legal bribery and their skill at mass marketing/propaganda.

Although a two party system was not the founders' intent, we are essentially trapped in it.

Of course both parties feed from the same corporate/military industrial trough, pushing democratic representation further from realization.

But you're correct that democrats are clearly the better choice. Their party is notably less corrupt and authoritarian than the other. Too bad they can't get that message out.

"Choosing the lesser of evils is still choosing evil" has become the tired excuse for the dangerous level of apathy among the masses.

For some reason it doesn't occur to them that by not voting for the "lesser evil" they're abetting the greater evil.

"But her emails!"

Will the corporate media ever offer equal time to, "But their coup!"?

I'm afraid they'll continue to warn us about "moving too far left", but never "too far right".

Nothing personal. Strictly business, amirite?

Shaw Kenawe said...

So The GOP in Texas wants to secede? Ok. And take the remainder of the Confederacy plus the reddest Midwestern states (OK, MO, NE, KS), too. Call it MAGAstan. Can you imagine the Constitution that they would produce?

After they're gone, the US would see an immediate jump in educational achievement, life expectancy, and health outcomes, with a similar drop in infant and maternal mortality. The US would also finally get the social safety net that matches what is commonly found in advanced countries. All U.S. military bases -- GONE!

Do the brilliants of the Texas GOP realize they'd all be immigrants should they want to leave Texas and immigrate to the U.S.? They'd all lose their Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and any federal monies that help pay for highways, transportation, etc. They'd all need passports to visit their families in the U.S. And they couldn't fly Old Glory, or celebrate the 4th of July, since they'd cease to be U.S. citizens.

It's a colossally stupid, selfish idea. But I'm not surprised. Look where it's coming from.

The Texas GOP sounds like a bunch of spoiled brats who are throwing tantrums because they don't like the way the U.S. is changing from an all white, all Christian nation to a racially diverse, multi-cultural, and less religious country.

Dave Dubya said...

I used to say the US would be a far better country if Grant had surrendered to Lee in 1865.

Unfortunately it would have assured white supremacy in the Confederate states even worse than it is.

It’s like Louis Gohmert is the intellectual leader and mentor for Texas Republicans.

This is latest addition to the long train of authoritarian bigots clutching their pearls in a self-induced moral panic.

They wigged out over the 1619 Project, M&Ms, Yoga Barbie, BLM, CRT, and finally Trump’s clear defeat in 2020.

Such crybaby delicate snowflakes!

Foreigner said...

\\All U.S. military bases -- GONE!

Oh, how many of scumbags in all of the World would be happy from that...

Would the World became safe place because of that? I think 100% opposite.