Definitions of Democracy, part Two
The purpose of Democracy is Democracy
In part One of this thought, posted a couple years ago, the streets of NYC were praised as among the highest examples of Democracy in the history of man. A few weeks after, having nothing to do with the blog, Occupy moved into Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan. (An anti-comment said the streets of NYC smelled of urine. Maybe piss smell is a fair weather omen. Maybe something good will happen again, following this post).
On trying to read the new book by Ira Katznelson,“Fear Itself”, I had some thoughts…. With the visceral dislike we have for the rabid wing of the Republican Party, it is easy to loose sight of our destiny through time. The ability of “one half of one third of our government” to paralyze the rest, is part of the process of our Democracy. The fights over Voter ID are a fight to enrich and preserve (or diminish) our democracy. That the right wing continues to openly try to keep blacks from voting is a naked attempt to undo the victories of SNCC, Bob Moses, and the Southern Civil Rights Movement.
History is against these people. So are demographics. Obama is President. Michelle is first Lady. More and more Latinos are voting and achieving a voice every day. Blacks and Whites have had income parity in Brooklyn, one of the five Boroughs of NYC for over a decade. American style Democracy, with Freedom of Speech, multiple voices duking it out, protection of minorities’ opinion, and every kind of personal Freedom to think and live as you chose, is spreading across the world, not contracting.
With all the problems that we now face, Global Warming being the most threatening, this is all very good news for us, and our what we believe in.
The civil rights generation understood that they were in a permanent fight. (The section of “Fear Itself” on the pre civil rights south is too depressing for an ex-SNCCer to read). We understood that the real victory was the struggle itself, and given the nature of this country, that struggle would go on forever. What matters is that new generations arise, as they did so well in Occupy, to carry the torch, and make democracy real.