Thursday, March 25, 2010

Democracy: a creeping civil war?

It pains me strongly the profound division that affects our western democracies.

Now Obama had his law on health reform passed. But at what price!

I do not enter in the merit of the thing. From what I read on the newspaper I trust, it isn't a radical thing, on the contrary, it is rather moderate, to the point, it suggests, that it could have won a bipartisan consensus. Instead, it was passed without a single republican vote. And it left the country more polarized than ever.

Why to do it this way?

All of Obama's talk in electoral campaign about wanting to reconcile the country revealed itself just hot air.

Is it possible, I ask, that our democracies have to be some sort of creeping civil war among at least two opposing factions?



Kevin in Texas said...

I fear that, through a combination of instantaneous and unfiltered, mass media-focused communication of our every last thought and radically partisan, polarized redistricting of Congressional districts in the US, we have slid far down the slope towards utter loss of bipartisanship or indeed even towards the utter loss of many solid principles upon which the US was founded long ago. Listening to conversations about the health care reform process and the final bill that just passed has reinforced my view that most people don't have any real, objective understanding of most political issues, but instead rely on soundbites from media figures who have their own agendas (and this happens on both the Left and the Right here in the US). Slogans and soundbites, in turn, reinforce a minimal tendency towards rational thought and discussion of issues in any bipartisan way.

From a secular political perspective, I don't hold out much hope for my country in the future. Thankfully I am a Catholic Christian, and as such I place my hope in the Lord above all things.

James H said...

I would disagree there was anything moderate about the law. It is rather dramatic

Humbly Presumptuous said...

About the law, I only mentioned one of the things (there were other opinions) I read in a reliable Italian newspaper. On my side, I can only say that it is moderate in comparison with the European kind of legislation, also in consideration of the fact that the public option was excluded; but I understand that it is such a jumble of things, that it is difficult to figure out what the global impact would be. An equally reliable American friend of mine thinks rather on the line with James H.
On the concerns of Kevin I am a bit more optimistic, especially for the US, while I see the situation in Europe more dramatic. I think that, for all that Kavin says, the trouble lies rather in an intellectual and academic failure. In other words, it looks to me that our cultural leaders are very much at pains when it comes to think through the changes brought about by recent media technologies: television first, and now the integrated net of computers, telephones and television. Their thinking, in fact, maintans a pretty definite Niniteenth century imprinting, moulded by previous state of technology.