What is wrong with American polititics? Are other democracies in much better shape?

I follow the US media of all tendencies and follow the politics. Whike I live in Canada, I am extremely interested in US politics because the fate of the free World is, again, in the hands of America.

In a way, the situation is not too different from the rise of the Nazis in Germany and, to a lesser extent, the rise of Imperial Japan. We now have to face China, clearly a dictatorship that is also resorting to a version of state-controlled Capitalism to redress some “wrongs”, China suffered at the hand so of the West. To me, the Chinese government’s position is absurd. China was rescued from the clutches of Imperial Japan by the US and its allies.

China was also rescued from the misery and madness of Mao’s years by the capitalist ideas of the West. Nevertheless, the Chinese government insists on the “humiliations” at the hands of the West.

This means we need a strong US, a strong democracy, a society where once elections are over, is united in all key internal and external issues. That is not happening now.

Sadly, the US is more polarized than ever before. I believe Trump’s style pushed the polarisation further, but the Democrats, and much of the media, with their highly emotional, almost hysterical reactions, pushed it even further. They treated Trump’s often course style as if that was the whole person of Trump, some even suggested Trump had totalitarian tendencies. Those are absurd accusations because in Trump’s long history nobody has accused him of being authoritarian. Now, with Trump gone, at leas for now, the polarisation continues.

Both sides use anything as a political weapon; for example, the Democrats and the pro-Democrat media, politicized Rittenhouse’s triel ton unimaginable heights, the guy was metaphorically lynched by the media. Social media too is full of implications that, “he would not find a place to hide”. The trial was almost a formality for those people: for them Rittenhouse was guilty, no trial needed.

But the Republicans also politicized the trial. This is obvious now; with the trial over, and Rittenhouse declared “not guilty”, a few Republican politicians are even offering jobs in Washington to him. First of all, Rittenhouse was declared “not guilty”, he was not declared “innocent”, the courts never do that.

It is also reasonable to think that if he was tried it is because there was reasonable grounds that his actions were illegal. If that is the case, Rittenhouse is not a hero, his actions should not be considered an example to anybody, with the exception of his helping remove graffiti from a high school. Certainly, to be on the streets with a rifle, “just in case” and go to a place where trouble was likely o occur, is not to exemplary behaviour at all. I do not question he might have been justified to use the weapon when he felt his life threatened, but that is no heroic action.

Any time you turn US TV on is impossible to find a station that is not politicized: their news are politicized and its political and economic shows are partisan to the eyebrows, to the point you can not believe any of them. I also have to visit many web sites, in the US and abroad, to try to have an idea of what the facts are on any issue but the political bias is so widespread you can never be sure if what you know is factual, not a politically tainted reality.

This brings me to what I believe is the solution to depoliticize and deradicalize America, and renew its democracy; America should take the next natural step in democracy; become a direct democracy. Direct democracy dials down the political temperature radically.

Why does that happen? Because in a direct democracy the people directly decide many issues, including policies and laws. By making the people responsible, by removing much power from the politicians, the political fights lose virulence; as the politicians lose much of their executive and legislative power, the fight for power is not so intense, elections no longer mean so much because the people are the final decision makers.

The lobbies also know there is no much point in pouring so much money into elections; it does not matter if the politician, or the party, the lobbyists support wins, because they do not have the power to deliver the policy, the law, the contract, etc., the lobbies want.

When the people have to decide laws and policies, when they are responsible for what happens in the country now and to the country in the future, they are not interested in partisan media, they want the media to inform, to provide the facts surrounding the issue because they have to decide the issue. If the media provide opinion, the voters do not want partisan opinion.

In a direct democracy voting is very serious, voters do not just have to elect this or that politician with the “vision”, the “leadership qualities”, or some other slogan the political marketers come up with. The people need, like any executive, the facts, realistic, factual information, not propaganda. In this way, the media also become much less partisan, or no partisan at all, in a direct democracy.

How do I know all this?, because I studied the Swiss system; it delivers. For many reasons it is much more effective than the direct democracy they practice in California. California’s, and other US States’ direct democracy does ot have much in common with Switzerland’s. Another key difference is that the Swiss have direct democracy at the national level too.

The Swiss found inspiration for their constitution in the American constitution, but in 1867, they introduced a radical improvement; they introduced direct democracy. It is time now for America to find inspiration in the Swiss constitution and political practices.

I am convinced that with direct democracy polarisation will radically drop in America, unity will be the normal thing again. That is a very important change we need to navigate the ugly years we may face with China, until the Chinese decide, like I am sure they will, as the Chinese of Taiwan did, that dictatorship is a bad system for the human soul and also for the pocket.

But Canada, the UK, Germany, Australia, Japan, France and other representative democracies, while not as polarized as the US, they are also polarised and for the same reason; politicians in representative democracies have too much power; the fight for the power drives them to extremes and contaminates all of society.

I suggest you inform yourself about Swiss direct democracy. Do not rely on the opinion of pundits, do some research yourself. I believe it will open your eyes to the falsehoods about direct democracy, and you will see it is the system American and other countries need, even China will end up as direct democracy. As a matter of fact, Taiwan has taken important steps in that direction, inspired, as you might guess, by the Swiss.


Victor Lopez

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