Can democracy come to the U.S.A.? Connect the quotes and decide

Written by Robert Douglas   
Wednesday, 05 August 2020 13:29


Here’s what some thinkers and leader have to say about “government of the people, by the people, for the people” and its chances of surviving or perishing from the earth:

The case for minority rule
They want everybody to vote. I don’t want everybody to vote... as a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”
— Paul Weyrich, longtime Republican activist and Heritage Foundation founder, on what Democrats want.
“The things they had in there were crazy. They had levels of voting, that if you ever agreed to it you'd never have a Republican elected in this country again.”
--President Donald Trump, on a proposal the Democrats made in a recent corona-virus stimulus package to expand voting access by making every state hold early voting and making it easier to vote by mail.

“Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
Trump floated this idea to show his aversion to universal mail-in voting.Eighty percent of Americans want vote-by-mail in the coming election, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, a non-partisan advocate for democracy. Trump, himself, votes by mail in Florida.

The case against minority rule
“I know a little bit about history, and I know how countries find their demise. It is when we fail to let democracy, the fundamentals of which is a fair, unfettered election . . . And that’s why he is trying to put a cloud over this election, floating the idea of postponing the elections,” Clyburn said.
— Rep. James Clyburn, Democratic Party Majority Whip in the House of Representatives, who has likened Trump’s strong-arm tactics to those favored by dictators like Adolph Hitler.

"First, they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
— Martin Niemöller a Protestant pastor who spoke out against Adolf Hitlerwho wound up in Nazi  concentration camps.

Fighting back
“It is the duty of every man, as far as his ability extends, to detect and expose delusion and error.”
Thomas Paine, pamphleteer, whose writings inspired colonists to fight for independence from Britain in 1776.
"Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble."
John Lewis, the civil rights icon and conscience of congress.
“Whatever the fight, don’t be ladylike.”
-- Mary Harris Jones, or “Mother Jones,” labor organizer who Teddy Roosevelt once called “the most dangerous woman in America.

“Glory lies in the attempt to reach one’s goal and not in reaching it.”
--Mahatma Ghandi, who modeled non-violent resistance that was key to India gaining independence in 1947, and whose principles have guided in human rights advocates elsewhere, including in the United States.
“And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down
Gonna stand my ground
And I won't back down.”
Tom Petty, whose family protested the use of this song at a Donald Trump rally, because the late musician would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate. He liked to bring people together.”

It's coming from the sorrow in the street,
the holy places where the races meet; 
from the homicidal bitchin' 
that goes down in every kitchen 
to determine who will serve and who will eat. 
From the wells of disappointment 
where the women kneel to pray 
for the grace of God in the desert here 
and the desert far away: 
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.”
--Leonard Cohen, Canadian singer-songwriter and poet, who died in his Los Angeles home last year before his vision could be realized.

“I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I said if he had stolen a railroad, he would be a United States Senator.”
— Mother Jones.
“In my country we go to prison first and then become President.” 
Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison for efforts fighting apartheid in South Africa before becoming its president.
“I want to see him in prison.” 
— Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, on what she’d like to see in President Trump’s future.

Robert Douglas is a former business editor for the Palm Beach Post and Fort LauderdaleSun-Sentinel. You can contact him at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , like him on onFacebook, or follow him at RBDMediaDotCom on Twitter. your social media marketing partner
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