Is ‘Dignity’ the actual engine supporting ‘Democracy’?

Mariner is reading a book, Dignity in a Digital Age, published recently and written by Congressman Ro Khanna (D-17th District CA, AKA Silicon Valley). Rep. Khanna takes a two-fold position to resolve much of the unrest that disturbs politics, society and industry in the United States. First, he proposes that the formation of national policy be loosened from Washington D.C and spread among the population. Second, Khanna proposes that the intended purpose of the nation, its industries and society in general is to use the democratic process to promote dignity rather than to protect by legislated procedure.

This last point caught mariner’s interest because, along with many others, he believes Donald came to power because the labor class was not part of the success story of the United States. Despite personal business success, career prestige and a critical role in daily life, without a college degree American society felt labor careers did not represent success in life or have critical importance to society.

A major contribution to this prejudice occurred under Reagan economic policies which allowed corporations to send labor jobs to other countries with lower production costs and otherwise disassembled the financial security found in guaranteed full retirement, labor representation and other benefits. To this day, Labor makes less versus the Consumer Price Index than it did in 1980.

Back to the first point that national policy should be influenced more directly by the citizenry, it is true that policy influence has been drawn to Washington like gravity draws a rock to the ground. Now under the influence of an entrenched plutocracy, it is money that reflects dignity rather being a voting citizen. Khanna spends much of his book philosophizing about how all the components of society should help shape major policies. Mariner feels philosophy alone will not do the trick.

Under the original Constitution created in 1778-9, the Federal Government had to manage a nation with vast, unknown, empty spaces. The population of the Nation was 38.5 million. Today it is 331 million with fifty local governments. Yet the US Senate retains its original configuration of two senators per state. State governments are allowed to modify Federal elections – a necessary authority before trains and before organized Federal agencies could manage locally.

In 1780 the life expectancy was approximately 50 excluding 15 percent child mortality. Today government leaders live well into their eighties – far beyond the life expectancy of their childhood culture, which is approximately 60 years. Between the blindly rich and the culturally blind, it is no wonder no one knows how to promote dignity.

Mariner feels that before Congressman Khanna can modify policy influence to represent a cultural dignity, shudder, cringe, a Constitutional Convention will have to rewrite an outdated Constitution. If the convention does occur, thank goodness the old Constitution says we are allowed to own and bear arms!

Ancient Mariner


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