Crack In The American Democracy

Peter Oye Sagay

Oct 30, 2018

Complex structures are always made up of parts. Humans copied this design template from Nature and have used it extensively to construct various structures (e.g. social systems, political systems, economic systems, machine systems, etc). Sooner or later, partial or total failure of a system occurs. If the failure is partial, the system can be restored to normalcy after the failed-parts are repaired or replaced. For example, one or more blowouts of the tires of a car, is a partial system failure. Once the tires are replaced, the car is good to go. If the failure is total, the system must be replaced. For example, a shuttle that blows up on take-off, is a total system failure even if the blow-up was caused by just one part of the shuttle. The shuttle does not exist after the blow-up. However, a new and better designed shuttle can replace it. Some natural systems are not replaceable after total system failure. For example, the death of a person is an irreplaceable system failure.

A crack is a manifestation of stress that has strained a body beyond its elastic limit. Often, cracks precede system failures, especially in systems that are well designed and have impressive performance records. When a well designed system with impressive performance records fails totally without crackial warning, it is usually because of the impact of an overwhelming external stress that was not accurately anticipated during the design process. Now, it is important to note that the cracks being referred to here are those manifested in time-tested systems. In other words, cracks in systems without performance records over time are not being referred to in this presentation.

The American Democracy is a time-tested political system (222 years is more than significant). It has impressive performance records in the smooth transfer of power; aids to other countries; and roles in the establishment of worthwhile gobal systems (e.g.U.N). In the area of civil rights where much work remains to be done, it has made significant progress (e.g, the constitution was amended). Yet there is a crack in the American Democracy. What is this crack? What stress caused its manifestation? What repairs or replacements can be made on parts of the political system so as to halt and reverse the onset of partial system failure?

In order to answer these questions, one must re-aquaint oneself with the key parts of the foundation upon which the American political system was built. The American Democracy is a consequence of The American Revolution. Revolutions occur when legitimate grievances that have gathered enough critical mass are stubbornly left unaddressed by the ruling powers. For example, Taxation Without Representation was a major grievance of the American colonists. There were mob activities against stamp agents then as expressions of protest. Even after the Continental Army had been formed and some battles between the Continental Army and the British Army were ongoing, the colonists tried to make peace with King George III through the Olive Branch Petition in which they affirmed their intent to remain loyal to England. The peace gesture was ignored. Instead, more British troops were sent to the colonies. On July 4, 1776, during the Second Continental Congress, the colonies declared their independence from the British in the Declaration Of Independence. Thus began the total system failure of colonial rule in America.

The fundamental reasons for the colonists' revolt as expressed by their representatives in the Declaration Of Independence can be summarized as follows:
- The government did not take care of the people
- The government suppressed the inalienable rights (absolute, natural rights not subject to transfer or surrender; such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) of the people.
So, the government can be overthrown since it has broken the social contract between it and the people.

The stresses that cause cracks in time-tested political systems are grievances against the government. The grievances are often similar to those expressed by the American colonists: lack of governmental care and suppression of natural rights. The cracks that result from these stresses are deep rooted divisions characterized by profound emotions that are anchored in ideological stances. Consequently, componential functionalities replace unitary system functionalities. System failure sets in. First, partial system failure, then total system failure, if powers that be, continually ignore the stresses and cracks by refusing to repair system components in need of repair or replacement.

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