Democrats Have a Funny Way of Expressing Concern About ‘Our Democracy’
They bemoan Dobbs, which returns abortion policy to elected representatives, while spending big to boost politicians they see as a fascist threat.
Who gives a rat’s ass about our democracy?
That’s not a rhetorical question. But to avoid confusion, I should rephrase.
Who actually gives a rat’s ass about our democracy?
You might think this is a lead-in to a stemwinder about yesterday’s January 6 committee revelations. It’s not—though we might get there eventually anyway.
I’ve been hearing the phrase “our democracy” a lot lately. Sometimes the context makes total sense, like when people are talking about fixing the Electoral Count Act, fact-checking election conspiracy theories, or other psephological concerns.
But “our democracy” also comes up in other contexts, as if “our democracy” is now the preferred term—chiefly among progressives—for “nation” or “country” or “America.” As political pabulum that doesn’t bother me too much, even though the echoes of John Dewey in such formulations makes me anxious.
But democracy is, you know, a thing. Definitions vary, but I think we can all agree that giving voters and their representatives power to make decisions is part of any serious understanding of democracy. I know that totalitarian and authoritarian countries like to call themselves democracies too. But such claims are what you might call “deceptive advertising” or “false branding” or “lies.”