Losing Our Democracy

Sen. John McCain standing up for regular order by voting down an Obamacare repeal.

What we are witnessing, friends, is the beginning of the end of American democracy. With senators and representatives who used to believe in “regular order” — as Senator John McCain would say — retiring, we are electing ideologues.

I’m a liberal and believe in liberal ideals (gun control, universal healthcare, social safety net, helping the disenfranchised, etc.). However, if we continue to send to Congress, ideologues who will not compromise with the other side, we all lose. Whether we like it or not, America is made up of hundreds of millions of individuals with different experiences and values than you or me. Therefore we all won’t always agree. Which is why compromise is so incredibly important.

To believe that we must pass universal healthcare in this Congress is to believe in a fallacy. To hold out for it, is dangerous. To believe and hold out the ACA will be repealed and replaced is just as dangerous. Because then, as we are now seeing, we will have done nothing and millions of people will suffer.

At home, at the office, at school, don’t we all learn to compromise? Don’t we teach our children that they’re supposed to compromise? Why can’t we ask our representatives in Congress to do the same?

Our own echo chambers are making it harder and harder for all of us to believe in compromise and moderation. We want outrage and intractability to be the new normal. Why? Our media diets are shite. Facebook and Twitter are like ice cream and chocolate, and MSNBC and FOX News are like french fries and onion rings. We all get caught up in the mob mentality of these outlets, and we turn around and ask our representatives in government to do the same.

We forget to listen, to compromise.

And therefore, we lose American democracy.

This post was adapted from my tweetstorm this morning.

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