Thursday, November 2, 2006

This is Democracy?

Edward (Ted) Kennedy is (unfortunately) a living, breathing reminder of how democracy in the U.S. isn’t working. A rational electorate would vote for their dog — or any dog — before they’d vote for Ted.

You would think Ted’s outrageous and sometimes depraved behavior would make it impossible to get elected even once, even at the local level. After all, this is the man who (a) was thrown out of Harvard twice for cheating, (b) has numerous tickets for reckless and drunk driving, (c) notoriously drove his car off the Chappaquiddick bridge and left poor Mary Jo Kopechne to suffocate over the course of two hours, (d) is a well-known and oft-observed drunk-about-town, (e) was caught in flagrante delicto on a restaurant floor, screwing a woman who was not his wife, and (f) single-handedly nixed the most scientifically and technologically sound alternative energy project ever proposed for the East Coast (the Nantucket wind farm) because it would interfere with the view from his home. And these are just the more interesting behaviors; the entire list is much longer.

In any functioning democracy, this man (I hesitated before using that term to describe him) would never have been elected in the first place, much less re-elected six times. Senator Ted Kennedy is the clearest evidence presently available to support my case that American democracy is badly broken, in the sense that “the people” no longer independently elect their representatives. I don’t mean to imply that there’s some grand conspiracy going on, or that votes are being thrown away. What I do mean is that the voting public is being manipulated — sometimes in quite sophisticated ways — into voting for undeserving, unqualified candidates. And Ted Kennedy is exhibit one for my contention.

Do any of you have an alternative explanation for the Ted Kennedy phenomenon?


  1. In the old blog, Scott said:
    So democracy isn’t working in America? THEN MOVE! We dont want your fascist asses here anymore bitching about the country that I and so many others love so much. The fact that someone you dont like is in the Senate is proof democracy DOES work. SInce you are so unhappy, please go to a country that has no representation of the people. Go to Iran. Youll be happier there.

  2. In the old blog, Cliff said:
    Truth hurts… Whack 'em with a slide-rule Tom.