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One of the chants you here in the Wisconsin movement to resist the changes the Republican Governor and legislature are making comes when one person in a protest calls out: “What does democracy look like?” The people in the crowd cry out “This is what democracy looks like.”
Tonight I went with friends to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to listen to a person talk about torture in US foreign policy. She put the blame for torture on President Bush’s administration although she reluctantly admitted it goes on today in various forms in the Obama administration.
As someone from Columbia, South America told us at SOAWatch at Fort Benning, when asked how conditions have changed with the new democratic administration, the difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans are more overt about their actions and Democrats more subtle, but they end up doing the same thing. In Columbia it was suppressing the human rights of people.
During the question and answer period she made a remark that I have heard so many times before from persons upset with President Obama for what he did or did not do the last four years in area of war, poverty, discrimination and foreign policy. She said it was still going to vote for him since the alternative, Governor Romney, was worst.
I called her out on this attitude of voting for the least of two evils and when asked who I would vote for I said “nobody.” She asked the audience about my response and I was taken to task, in a nice way, for not voting. I was preached to about how voting was so central and essential to our democracy.
I thought if I believe it was a true democracy I would probably vote but when it comes to voting for the least of two evils I feel it is wrong to vote or support someone because the only other choice we are given by the ‘power that be’ is worst in our eyes.
It got me thinking that this was the real problem with our democratic government. We are faced with two choices that both will end up doing the same thing the people who gave them the money wants them to do and choose the lesser evil in our minds.
So what does a real democracy look like? I can think of three qualities essential to a real change and building a democracy. In my opinion they are conflict, nonviolent civil disobedience and suffering. In postings to come I will discuss these three and give example. May I can even relate these three to nature and the garden.