An Un-American Democracy

November 5, 2018 Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , POLITICS , United States

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By

Sami Jamil Jadallah

 

 

Notice: If you are an Arab, beware of entering a consulate, it can be dangerous to your life. These days it is dangerous to write anything about an Arab country, so I will stick to America.

 

We are a divided country more than any other time in history, perhaps since the Civil War. This election will and should decide whether we will go down further and deeper in our divisions or if we pick up the pieces and try to heal all the wounds and have a national reconciliation.

 

On Tuesday, Americans will go to the polling stations and vote for all 350 members of the House, one third of the Senate and state and local offices around the country marking this mid-term election as the most expensive in history with estimates running at $5 Billion.

 

The average cost of running for a House seat is around $1.5 million for each candidate, with Senate seat costs running around $25 million per candidate. This is really a great deal of money to run for an office and of course with this kind of funding the donors are the share and stockholders, not those who vote. Our votes only put “their” candidates in office.

 

American democracy is kind of peculiar and is unlike any other democracy in the world, with Israel becoming like the US, with rich powerful donors, lobbyists, corporations and special interest groups buying shares in the House or Senate seats.

 

Unlike other democracies with turnout topping 70%, America’s turnout is around 50-55% which means that those winning seats are elected by a minority of eligible citizens.

 

This mid-term election is a very special election determining and influencing the next two years of Trump presidency and his “Make America Great Again” and should determine whether we can put an end to this White Nationalism which is taking the country toward a new and more dangerous “civil war”.

 

The recent shooting in the Pittsburgh synagogue is a reminder that “White” American nationalism’s racism runs deep taking a dangerous turn with the election of Donald Trump. While this is a classic Anti-Semitism attack, Israel was quick to send ministers, even offering to send security experts presenting itself as the “protector” of the Jews and claiming the international Jewish community as its own.

 

Though the attack on the synagogue is deemed a terrorist act and violent form of Anti-Semitism, the Jews are not the only ones targeted for hate crimes. There are many with attacks on Muslims and mosques on Blacks and Black churches among others and of course many White attacks on schools, malls, etc.

 

American racial and racists history is shameful and criminal and has been directed toward Non-White Protestants such as the Christian Catholics not long ago, directed against newly arriving East European Jews, against Italians, Portuguese and Spanish immigrants add to that racism in its ugliest form “slavery” of Blacks that lasted for centuries.

 

The election of Donald Trump and his incitement against immigrants and Muslims and Brown people is what took him to the Oval Office and the US presidency and inspired other “nationalist” candidates in Hungry, Poland and even in Brazil.

 

Racial incitements do not die away fast and in these elections they are given new life on the local, state and national level.

 

America at the time of this election is at a crossroads and we shall see how it chooses to proceed with its future and the future of its citizens, not only WASPs, Christians of other denominations, but Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Latinos and Asians; whether it chooses a different path, one of social harmony or more racial, ethnic and sectarian divide setting the stage for regional division of the country.

 

We were hoping that America overcame its racism in the 60s and has matured into a multi-racial and multi-cultural dynamic society, but the Trump election changed all that.

 

I believe it is a waste of our time and money to spend hundreds of millions promoting democracies overseas when our democracy and election processes leaves a lot to be desired.

 

Unfortunately, the candidates hardly debate with each other and rarely meet in the same place and the same time, leaving advertising and special lobbies to form the message in 30 second ads, most of the time very misleading.

 

It is so ironic that special interest groups and special donors pour millions of dollars in out of state campaigns, deciding the fate of the congressional district or the senate seat by outside forces.

 

I know it is a dangerous time to call for a new constitutional amendment to limit out of state and out of district funding, or even a term limit, given the general and ugly mood and division in the country it may end disfranchising a large segment of society. A new constitutional amendment may end up breaking up the nation.

 

What is needed most urgently now is for the voters to perform through the ballots what Congress certainly will fail to do, setting the term limits for Senators 2 terms, House 5 terms and members of the Supreme Court 12 years maximum. Yes, we can make a difference at the voting booth and reshape the Constitution to fit our needs and aspirations as American citizens without leaving it as a divided Congress controlled by big money and special interest groups.

 

We are a divided country more than any other time in history. This election will and should decide whether we will go down further and deeper in our division or we pick up the piece and try to heal all the wounds.

 

 

 

 

sami-jamil-jadallah

Sami Jamil Jadallah

Sami Jamil Jadallah is a US citizen, an immigrant from Palestine with over 35 years of international legal and business experience in the US, Middle East, Europe and North Africa. He is a Veteran of the US Army and holds a BA degree in political science and economics, a master degree in public and environmental affairs and doctor of jurisprudence from Indiana University.

Active in international and local affairs, Sami is a co-drafter of the Preamble for the Constitution of the One State for All of its People in Palestine and is active in veteran’s affairs in support of their re-integration in American society. He lectures and writes on a variety of topics including terrorism, social, economic and political issues related to the US and the Middle East.

Sami believes that education is the only way to transform the Middle East into a peaceful productive region and calls on all foreign troops to get out of the Middle East, leaving the people to shape their own destiny. Sami is in semi-retirement but fully engaged in voluntary work and engaged in the peace movement in the Middle East.

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