voice for democracy

On promoting democracy (letter) | Letters To The Editor | lancasteronline.com – LNP | LancasterOnline

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The foundation stone to democracy is popular sovereignty. How broadly power is distributed serves as the benchmark to measure its realization. 
Essential principles follow from popular sovereignty: Each person has one vote, decisions are by majority and there is equal access to distributed power. Without individuals having power, voting is empty in outcome. 
Not everything called democracy is democratic. One of the lessons of the Cold War is that when power is disproportionately concentrated in either private wealth or the public state, equality is meaningless. Both capitalism and socialism have demonstrated that democracy is not automatic with nomenclature. 
Some policies promote democracy; others contradict the ideal. Voting rights, poverty reduction and community-building enhance democracy.  The Electoral College, the filibuster and limiting voting hours and locations are inimical to democracy.  By the very definition of the term, any transfer of power from the people is betrayal. 
States’ rights, governors overturning election results and partisan counting of votes are hostile toward democracy. What remains is a “paper” democracy. So, beware, those of you who would denigrate democracy; the rights autocracy permits are illusory.   
If we do not trust popular sovereignty, we open politics to hierarchical power and the loss of the very precious freedom that democratic equality grants. Individualism may be the motivating power of an economy, but equality of worth is the glue holding society together. 
Remember, failure to come together democratically may lead to an autocratic takeover inevitably.  Democracy rests upon persuasion; tyranny reigns by violence.                                                       
Eugene Clemens 
Elizabethtown 
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