One of the questions few people are thinking about these days is: what would our politics be like if the United States wasn’t a modern capitalist democracy?
No one has asked this at any of the debates, and if anyone in the media has raised it, it hasn’t gotten much attention.
There isn’t time or space here to give a full answer, but here are a few of the key elements that help answer the important question: what would our politics be like if the United States wasn’t a modern capitalist democracy?
First of all, we wouldn’t have a Commission on Presidential Debates to enforce bipartisanship and maintain order in our political process. Without that kind of democratic structure, our politics could drift toward an anarchy of choices, with no way to assure some control over our choice of president for the good of all.
Imagine what could happen if we somehow lost control of the process.
First of all we’d have all kinds of people trying to participate in the process without proper credentials. We’d be at the mercy of the riff raff.
We’d have people calling themselves legitimate candidates for president just because they’re on enough ballots around the country to have an actual possibility of winning, whether it’s 85% or 96% or even100% of the ballots.
We could have people of this sort just showing up at our traditional two-party debates and demanding the right to take part, and we know how that’s turned out in the past.
If those people persisted in their demands, we’d have no choice but to arrest them for obstructing traffic ordisorderly conduct or something, and take them into custody, and hold them incommunicado, except for one phone call before we decided what to do with them.
We’d have no choice but to handcuff them, humanely of course, with plastic handcuffs, and we’d have to handcuff them to their chairs to keep them from wandering around among the dozen or so guards around them in the converted warehouse we’d have to use for a holding pen.
If we had people just willy-nilly acting like they had the right to behave like that, we’d have no choice but to keep them tightly handcuffed to their metal chairs for eight hours or so, as long as it took for our traditional two-party debate to go off without any disturbance.
Once the event was safely over, we’d let these people go, of course. We might even drop the charges, because that’s the kind of modern capitalist democracy we are.
Of course things like that don’t happen in the United Sates any more, we’re much too well behaved as a people to tolerate anything like that.
And even if it did happen, even if some odd outlier rashly decided to step out of line for some reason, who’s going to report it?