Perhaps it’s time to step back and take a detailed look at how we’re defining “democracy.” Even compared to other democracies, ours needs addressing. Our “shining beacon” image is fading.

Pretense is not reality and we should be embarrassed.

What is a “democracy”? What should it be? It is defined as a government wherein the people hold the ruling power through the vote. We should be addressing the first-year anniversary of an intended coup, where lives were lost and normal transfer of power was threatened. What if it had succeeded? Light is fading, and we need to wake up and move from our trance-like state and cult-like following of a former president who wants us to join his created version of reality.

Our democracy seems to function wherein money equals power and power equals money. Campaign finance reform needs addressing, along with our electoral college system, wherein the idea of one person, one vote is challenged. Gerrymandering is another instance of power grabbing. Additionally, why have two senators per state for six-year terms? Why should supreme court members have lifetime appointments, sitting until they are ready to be carried out? The archaic filibuster nonsense needs to be addressed. And why should one man from West Virginia at this time yield power over legislation? Currently, serious issues such as climate change and voting rights need to be addressed.

Another issue, tribalism, is threatening our democracy. Issues involving COVID 19 (plus variants) are divisive. Everyone has the right to survive, and death rates are staggering. Some health problems can’t be avoided, but this one could. Racism evokes anger and fear of the white population losing majority status in the foreseeable future.

One of the best antidotes to our problem is perspective. Let’s get real. We each have a beginning and an ending. We’re all terminal and need to act in the best interest of each other and the common good. We, as humans, coexist on a tiny, fragile planet among billions of stars in the universe. The NASA-sponsored project with the “James Webb” space telescope launched on Christmas Day hopefully will reveal “space secrets”, one of which could potentially reveal whether or not we are alone in the universe. Imagine that! Also helpful in our understanding of the universe are books by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Bottom line — we are all earth bound for a brief period of time and must now give thought to what we are leaving our descendants — a democracy? A habitable planet? Quite sobering thoughts!

Linda Norris, Maurertown

(1) comment

Dennis Atwood

Well said, Linda Norris. That's a daunting set of problems. Another, overarching one is that many folks choose to live in silos and see with only one "I," and have no perspective of "we." Try referring to the common good or community and it's labeled "socialism." The Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection was a horrible, extreme manifestation of "I-ism," willing to destroy our democracy over the Big Lie spouted by an aspiring tyrant.

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