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Showing posts from September, 2018

Majority Rules!

Majority Rules - Really!Gerry O'Shea

In the presidential election in 2000 Al Gore won the popular vote but he lost the election. We had a similar story in 2016 when Hillary Clinton polled close to three million more votes than Donald Trump and again came in second. The Gore and Clinton defeats had enormous consequences for the country. Think the disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the current daily chaos in the White House.

Why not simply have a majority rule system, the candidate who gets the highest number of votes wins, which is what most people understand by democracy?

In the late 18th century as America was asserting its freedom from Great Britain, the Declaration of Independence stated that "all men are created equal," butthe revolutionary leaders didn't really mean these words in their clear meaning because, to begin with, non-whites and women were not included.

In addition, the American revolutionaries also gave considerable credibility to a common prejudice …

The Limits of Militarism

The limits of MilitarismGerry O'Shea
After the German defeat in the First World War a hundred years ago, the terms of the surrender were worked out in Versailles. President Wilson, representing America, proposed a 14-point plan that was broadly generous to the defeated Germans, but he was overruled by the British and, especially, the French who insisted on punitive terms, including hefty annual reparation payments by Germany to the victorious countries.
Only about 16% of these payments were ever made, but the Treaty of Versailles was viewed as a national humiliation by the German people. After the agreement was signed many commentators predicted that the harsh terms made another European war inevitable.
And so it was. Twenty years later Hitler led the German forces to another military catastrophe with America providing much of the war equipment and leadership responsible for defeating the Nazis. The chief-of-staff ofthe American forces was General George C. Marshall who was later app…