LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Slow destruction of democracy in America

Democracy is a fragile institution that requires transparency, nurturing, cooperation, and most of all, leadership. However, this fragile institution is in grave danger, not from outside forces, but from forces within, namely, the political elite (career politicians).

When those entrusted [with] maintaining our democratic form of life fail to govern in the best interest of the American public, democracy is endangered. Worst of all, when a president fails to lead our elected officials, but rather uses the sacred Office of the Presidency to govern by executive action, then, our democratic way of life is eroded and replaced by a creeping autocracy. Remember, he is our president, not our king.

The absolute and total lack of presidential leadership for the past eight years, and on both sides of the congressional aisle, has divided this country and taken us back to the mid-60s. The rhetoric used by both sides has caused a polarization between those identified as the haves, and those identified as the have-nots.

These political elites have brought this country to the brink of disaster. As these political elites gain more power, especially on the Democratic side, the vitriolic language spewing forth is a further indication of their choice to protect their power base rather than to protect the interests of the American citizen. This lust for power can be openly seen on the Democratic side as they attempt to put their “anointed” one into the White House. When our politicians are only concerned about their power, which is theoretically derived from their constituents, the losers are the American public and democracy.

Over the past eight years, more and more American citizens have come to rely on government programs, passed by our political elite, as the sole source of their income. We are at a point now where less than 50 percent of American citizens pay the taxes to support those programs. Our political leaders have long found it easy to enact legislation that “gives” their constituents more, when, in reality, those programs come from the hard-earned money taken from the 50 percent of Americans who pay taxes.

They carelessly spend our hard-earned dollars which are taxed at very high rates, and for what in return? What happens to a democracy when a majority of its citizens realize that government programs can take care of all of their basic needs? Why should one work when it pays more to sit home and wait for the mailman? Progressivism is the knife that will kill democracy.

This reckless and unconscionable thought process has brought us to $19 trillion in debt, which will probably top $20 trillion by the time Obama leaves. I suspect the average American citizen does not truly understand the meaning or magnitude of the debt and the potential catastrophe it can/will cause.

Unless we stop its enormous growth, it will be democracy’s downfall. When the debt service becomes the No. 1 line item of the federal budget, our politicians will have to face some incredibly difficult decisions, and they will no longer be able to kick the can down the road because they will be at the road’s end.

As the government creeps into every facet of our lives, writing more and more restrictive rules and regulations, what happens to our freedom of choice? They have taken over our educational system and used money as a stranglehold on local boards who no longer control what is taught, and how, in their school districts. They will strip us of our Second Amendment rights in the name of stopping gun violence, only to watch it worsen, as criminals don’t obey laws. How can a presidential candidate tell the coal miners of America that she will put them out of work, and then, onto the government payroll? How can one be so arrogant of thought to declare that destroying the work of millions of people is OK?

As if being subjected to the progressive thought process of the Democratic Party isn’t bad enough, we are witnessing the death of our one of our most cherished institutions, the Fourth Estate (newspapers and TV).

The Fourth Estate has long been the one institution that has historically kept the American public informed, from both sides of the aisle, of what our government and its politicians are doing. When an administration fails at transparency, it’s the Fourth Estate’s responsibility to keep the American public informed. However, when the Fourth Estate lives and breathes the ideology of a political party, and keeps the American public in the dark, democracy begins its slow death.

Unfortunately, these past eight years have seen our democracy erode terribly as the Fourth Estate has embraced the ideology of the progressive Democrats and used, at every opportunity, their role in our society to keep the public in the dark by highlighting and embracing progressivism, while consistently criticizing the Republican Party.

[Matt Bittle’s article about John Daniello], “Dem Party head asking candidates not to run,” which headlined in the Delaware State News on July 8, should be a chilling reminder to the voters of Delaware what the head of Delaware’s state Democratic Party thinks of the state’s voters. The primary process is our democratic way of letting the “voters” decide who represents their party, not the party rulers. His argument of weakening the party is just another form of political elitism, and saying to everyone who agrees with him, “Trust me; we will keep the mailman coming.”

A number of nails were put in the coffin of democracy recently when the FBI director and the attorney general agreed not to press charges against Hillary. Forget the 15-minute blistering speech made by Mr. Comey referencing her actions; all that mattered was the “but.” We now know that the FBI agents who “interviewed” Clinton were forced to sign statements indicating that if they said anything, they would be subject to a lie-detector test. Translation: loss of job and potential jail time.

To make her “interview” even more of a farce, she was not sworn in, and by his own statement, the director didn’t even speak to the agents who “interviewed” her. Was her conversation recorded for posterity, and if so, how? Can we really believe the attorney general when she says the little discussion with Bill, who just happened to be there, and just prior to Hillary’s interview, was about the grandkids and golf? And of course, the president begins campaigning with Hillary hours after Comey speaks. So much for the integrity of the FBI and the Department of Justice.

As we prepare for the two political conventions this month, ask yourself a very simple question: Who will champion democracy? Hillary, who was pushed to the far left by a 74-year-old socialist, sitting at the top of the political elite class, or a neophyte to politics, who vanquished 16 other contenders, the majority of them members of the political elite?

If you are one of those who habitually wait for the mailman, your vote is most likely a given; however, if you are an American who believes in our democracy, then, it’s a simple decision. For those who wait for the mailman, understand that a day is coming when the mailman won’t [come], because democracy has died and our supreme leader will only be concerned with the elite.

Each of us has an equal share in this November’s election, and the future of democracy. Vote for the candidate of your choice, or perhaps a third-party candidate, but exercise your constitutional right, and VOTE!

Retired U.S. Army Reserve Col. Frank Daniels

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