Wednesday, October 22, 2008

how strong are U.S. institutions?

this is from a recent AFP article:

"I'm hoping it's not close," said Richard L. Hasen, a professor who specializes in election law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.
"I am certain there will be problems on election day."


I generally would avoid sensational things like this, especially when it's from a newswire trying address an edgy topic... but I have heard enough worries about this issue now in the media that it's worth worrying about...

essentially, I think many of the country's voting facilities remain in pre-2000 (bush v gore) conditions. what happens if we have a contested election that drags on for months amid this economic crisis?

I have been arguing that the U.S. judicial-political-economic system has come to a major crossroads. we have abused our own system for decades, twisting our own constitution to mean anything we want it to mean, ignoring problems like healthcare and social security. our political class has no ability to do necessary things -- they are like spoiled children and don't recognize necessary things. they do what they think will get them re-elected, and nothing else.

the things that moved our system along previously have all petered out. we are now drifting without rudder or appreciation of what's going to happen politically. our naive and childish tendencies to "trust in america" and "trust in democracy" can't help us now that we've wandered so far from our constitutional basis.

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