Democracy looks good from a distance. Come closer, and it isn’t there.

Our democracy is influenced—if not dominated—by deep-pocketed corporations, i.e., special interest groups. How otherwise might one explain why cancer-causing cigarettes are sold legally while pain-relieving medical marijuana is punished by law? Who is behind prohibiting the legalization of marijuana? The illegal growers. If marijuana is legalized, their market and obscene profits evaporate. Money talks. Hard and loud.

People are voting without truly knowing what the candidates stand for or whether they will honor their promises.

Many people, I’ve found, do not know the difference between Marx and Hitler. And those ignorant people vote.

Many voters are government employees who are united in trade unions and will not vote for a candidate who might cut government expenditures.

Most of those elected have a background in law. Naturally, they tend to believe that laws regulate behavior and solve problems. The result: we have mushrooming legislation suffocating our court system and making lawyers rich. A lawyer once told me that if I want justice, I should buy myself a dog and name it Justice.

The democratic system looks great on paper: people elect leaders who then serve those who have elected them. Huh?

I do not have a solution. The subject is far too complicated. I suggest a multi-party committee populated by experts from the academia in political science, economics, and constitutional law sit down and try to redesign the democratic system.

What was designed two hundred years ago based on theories that were generated in Athens when the system was applied to a small city or enriched during the French revolution do not apply well today with the technologies of the internet and the complexities of the global economy, educated population and very deep-pocketed multi-centers of power.

Let us start the process of re-engineering how democracy should work before we get so disenchanted that we elect and approve of a dictator to govern us.

Just thinking,

Ichak Kalderon Adizes