If you ever meet someone carrying a sign like the one in the photo, here’s what you can say:
“What’s up, doc?”
“Why worry? Be happy!”
“Can I buy you a beer?”
What you can’t say is that “Medicade” [sic] is a “Govment” [sic] operation. He knows that’s a lie.
Murphy’s Law (“If anything can go wrong, it will.”) has corollaries: 1) There is no situation so bad it can’t be made worse. 2) No idea is so good it can’t be ruined by jerks. One of the best ideas ever, Democracy, goes back to ancient Greece, yet is terra incognita to the stalwart sign bearer in the photo. In 2007 the world had 123 electoral democracies. Each was different but all shared five basic tenets:
1 Every individual has worth.
2 All are basically equal.
3 Majority rules, but the minority has rights
4 Each individual has the widest possible liberties.
5. Compromise to resolve differences.
Our Founding Fathers opted to elect the President, with a bicameral Congress—Senate and House of Representatives—modeled, it seems clear, after the British House of Lords and House of Commons, plus a Supreme Court (instead of a king) to settle disputes. When British aristocracy faded, the House of Lords faded too, so today power is with the House of Commons, which can have any number of political parties. The majority party elects the Prime Minister. If no party wins a majority, two or more get together to form a government. Minor parties can win seats, so even radicals can have a voice in government.
Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, in It’s Even Worse Than It Looks, suggest we switch to a multi-party system because the fracturing of American politics has paralyzed our two-party winner-take-all system. Past third parties: Green Party, Libertarian Party, Conservative Party, Liberal Party, Reform Party, America First Party, Vegetarian Party, Rent Is Too Damn High Party, American Nazi Party, and more, drew one-issue protest votes, and with no hope of winning could be as radical as they liked. Now, a radicalized Republican party acting like a protest party, rejecting compromise— a basic tenet of democracy—and backed by a secret cohort of billionaires, could conceivably win.
The decline and fall of the Roman Empire ended up liberating Europe. Were the U.S.A. to decline and fall, contracting to within its borders (as Ron Paul wants), the world would pretty well work out things without our dollars or leadership. But how would we do without the rest of the world? The guy in the photo holding the sign would say, “Great! And you can take that to the bank!”
Just be sure that the bank is not in the U.S.A.