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Partisan lockdown is the dilemma of our democracy
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The cruelest irony of freedom in America is that even a president is free to be an aspiring dictator as long as a majority of Americans express – through the popular vote and the Electoral College – their numerical will to keep a leader in power. More importantly, the partisan will of a political party, despite factional challenges, can protect that president, as well, from reason and truth itself if the numbers speak and the money (loudest voice of all!)  keeps rolling in.

So what is happening with electoral-select Trump is not shocking in the least. This one individual cannot bring a country down, but a people manipulated, misinformed and disinformed can sustain a political climate of frequent stormy controversies and a high-tech war machine that can penetrate those menacing clouds and possibly wreak havoc on the world and, God forbid, on America.

Which brings me to the uncomfortable topic of the intelligence levels of the American populace, which range from one extreme to the other, that is, idiots to geniuses. Might the same go for politicians? Or am I mistaken? Admittedly, if any politicians function in what I call “partisan lockdown” (exemplified by McConnell) on any issue one can name, then I feel impelled to ask if that person borders on idiocy for being immovably stubborn, even exhibiting obstructionist tendencies.

If so, how can a democracy avoid constricting to a point of life-threatening suffocation? Are Americans and politicians writhing in straitjackets, yelling in blind anger the whole time, or are they trying to emerge from cocoons to see that the winds of war, physical and vocal, are threatening to destroy us all?

Any reading of history, ancient to contemporary, reveals that at its best, democracy teeters in the balance. So what’s our dilemma now? Namely, the  grossly unstable, ethics-challenged, back-stabbing, name-calling, deceitful and strategic partisan posturing of a leader and his loyalists, sycophants, bootlickers – call them what you will – being obsessed with winning an election at any level and, as is obvious, at any cost.

So I ask, in light of the recent and rapid escalation of the House impeachment proceedings, whether we want measured and circumspect intelligence in governance or the ongoing stupidity of a nationwide assault on body, mind and soul?

Meaning? Meaning no more democracy, only a sham pretense through a barrage of fake proclamations and declared victories (i.e., bluntly, propaganda). In other words, a “totalitarian democracy” and many Americans not even aware of this because their minds were made up long ago, influenced largely by politically-mandated partisan positions on any issue one can name.

Not even political satires – not to mention, humor- serve as cautionary tales, such is our political regression. I can even imagine Jonathan Swift or Mark Twain or Will Rogers Jr. or Sr., or you name your satirist or humorist, returning to the present chaotic mess we’re in and asking this: “What the hell, how many more warnings do you need to evolve politically and, more importantly, as a species?

“Does chaos now reign?” they might inquire further.

Yes, I’m a registered Democrat, but I wonder, even if Trump is defeated in 2020 or is impeached or World War III erupts, what follows in this “land of the free”?

America, love it or leave it? No way. I’ll continue to speak my mind, open hopefully to there one day being more civil discussions of what benefits most of us most of the time, but never perfect.

After all, as humans we can only strive and work “toward a more perfect union.” The founding fathers knew that in the distant past. Best we learn and know that now. Soon.

Richard Joel Holmes