Opinion | Our Fake Democracy
Remember when Republicans used to pretend to care about crafting the people’s business in sunlight?
On almost every single concern, Congress — whether it’s the misnamed People’s House, or the Senate, laughably mischaracterized as the world’s greatest deliberative body — is going against what most of the country wants. And Congress is doing this because there will be no consequences.
We have a fake democracy, growing less responsive and less representative by the day.
The biggest example of this is the monstrosity of a health care bill, which a cartel of Republicans finally allowed us to peek at on Thursday. The lobbyists have seen it; of course. But for the rest us, our first look at a radical overhaul of one-sixth of the economy, something that touches every American, comes too late to make our voices heard.
Crafted in total darkness, the bill may pass by a slim majority of people who have not read it. Inevitably, with something that deprives upward of 23 million Americans of health care, people will die because of this bill. States will be making life and death decisions as they drop the mandated benefits of Obamacare and cut vital care for the poor, the elderly, the sick and the drug-addicted through Medicaid. The sunset of Obamacare is the dawn of death panels.
It would be understandable if Republicans were doing this because it’s what most Americans want them to do. But it’s not. Only about 25 percent of Americans approved of a similar version of this bill, the one passed by the House. By a nearly 2 to 1 margin, people would prefer that the Affordable Care Act be kept in place and fixed, rather than junked for this cruel alternative.
The Senate bill is “by far, the most harmful piece of legislation I have seen in my lifetime,” said Senator Bernie Sanders. At age 75, he’s seen a lot.
Our fake democracy reveals itself daily. Less than a third of Americans support President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. In a truly representative government, you would see the other two-thirds, the common-sense majority, howling from the halls of Congress.
Most Americans are also against building a wall along the Mexican border. They would prefer putting taxpayers’ billions into roads, bridges, schools and airports. But the wall remains a key part of President Trump’s agenda.
Trump is president, of course, despite losing the popular vote by nearly 3 million people. Almost 60 percent of the public is against him now. In a parliamentary system, he’d be thrown out in a no-confidence vote. In our system, he’s primed to change life for every citizen, against the wishes of a majority of Americans. Try calling that a democracy while keeping a straight face.
The editorial from The New York Times’ Timothy Egan called “Our Fake Democracy” is a must-read, especially in regards to the GOP’s ramming of Trumpcare down the throats of the American people, the withdrawal of the Paris Climate Agreement, and other host of items unpopular with the majority of the American populace.