Our democracy? It is NOT, and we elect the predators who see us as their prey.

Prey? Yes.

Predators? Get elected to a legislative body and get offers of money and more.

The USA has never been a democracy.

If your defense is that it is a representative democracy, then ask who legislators represent.

It is more than an oligarchy; it’s an oligarchy with opportunities for plutocrats and kleptocrats.

It will remain that until the nation and every state, territory and overseas colony has the direct initiative and referendum.

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If we put real power in the hands of the people, aren't we getting close to mob rule? Consider all the people who vote for the shape changers we have in office now. Would the voters be any better at picking the right initiatives than they are at picking the right candidates? The usual suspects would throw their monetary support behind ideas that will benefit them just as fast as they now throw their money at candidates. Would the voters understand the ramifications of initiatives? Would they have a clue as to how to pay for initiatives? We have to get billionaires and their lobbyists' money out of politics. Maybe we need term limits or some way to stop politicians from leaving government for jobs in industries they were supposed to be regulating.

Craig, to the Founders in 1787, mob rule was a valid concern because only the wealthy sent their children to school. With tax-supported public schools and laws requiring attendance, it stopped being a concern to most people. If it’s a concern for you, tell us your reason(s).

Shape changers in office? They change shapes as required to win the votes to stay in office.

Think more clearly and try again.

Public voting behavior also appears easy to manipulate. Noam Chomsky said that the number one predictor of which candidate wins an election is the money spent on him/her.

You did well to say “appears easy”.

Being known can and does beat being well-funded.

The new-to-politics millionaire Michael Huffington challlenged the incumbent Dianne Feinstein for her US Senate seat. He spent millions more than she did, dollars per vote versus her pennies per vote, and lost GRANDLY.

An unknown Tom Sarbeck ran in a primary against an incumbent speaker of the Arizona House. I spent one tenth of what the Speaker spent. For a while I led in the voting. Then his strong precincts totals came in and he won.

But, Ruth, if you believe Noam’s every word, you won’t always be wrong.

How can we strengthen ourselves against being manipulated?

We strengthen ourselves against manipulation by strengthening our emotional understanding.

Few boys are taught that. “Emotionally constipated”, we turn to violence. Reality and statistics tell the story.

Think more clearly and try again? Who the hell are you?

Craig, I’m the guy at whose discussion you fired a verbal scattergun.

You could have said you oppose the direct initiative and I would have understood.

Instead of a scattergun, use a verbal rifle and aim your remarks.

You didn't understand what Craig said? It made perfect sense to me. Voters aren't going to magically become more discerning because they have ballot measures along with candidates, and money talks just as loudly there as it does in candidate campaigns.

Bert, you don't know what scattergunning is? I appreciate your not doing it.

Craig's post on August 28 and your post's third sentence mean the same?

Also, you are excused for not knowing of the bills the California legislature passed that require ballot initiatives to identify their major funders. The bills are on the governor's desk and efforts have begun to persuade him to sign them into law.

BTW, for what purpose do you use the word "magically"?

Sarcasm is one way to express anger. Is that your purpose?

Instead of insulting people left and right, O Wise One, engage in rational discussion.

Instead of scattergunning your target, O Ye Whose Aim Is Poor, state your principal objections to the direct initiative and referendum.

Your opinion that shape changers occupy elective office is not relevant.

If you object to democracy, say so.

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