Authentic at the national level: freedom and democracy

My books, Be True, Be Happy and The Steps of Essence, are all about Self-Realization: how to find yourself, and then live authentically to this. My writings apply this to the personal level, but the same discussion can also be held at other levels, such as the level of our nation.

The question I want to pose here: how much is the US true to its core values?

In this post, I want to talk about freedom--clearly a core American value. We hear it all the time: "The US is the land of the free." And the US often presents itself as the greatest democracy in the world. But is that really true?

It seems to me we are not living in a democracy, but a republic. The difference is this: in a democracy, every vote counts equally towards the final result; in a republic, each vote sets up a representative who then casts the final vote.
This really had not been much of an issue, until the 2000 election (and to a minor degree the 2008 Democratic primaries), when we found out that it is not really the "popular vote," i.e. the majority of the votes cast by the "common man," that matters at all.

The constitution was set up very carefully to not give the common man too much powers, but keep ultimate power in the hands of a few representatives. It may be, and that can be argued, that this model made sense in 1787 when the document was first adopted, and there was a less educated or informed populace. But today?

No matter, it seems here is one area where the US as it presents itself is not authentic to what it is.

If we really lived in a free democracy, as we so often hear, why should anything but "the popular vote" determine our future? Of if not, should we not at least tone down the rhetoric, and call it what it really is: the greatest republic in the word? (Or is it?)

Be true! Be Happy!
Hanns-Oskar Porr

Copyright © 2009, 2010 Hanns-Oskar Porr

Be True, Be Happy: Simple Secrets for a Happy and Meaningful Life.
by Hanns-Oskar Porr

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