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At the dawn of his administration, President Obama opined: 'A democracy requires accountability, and accountability requires transparency.' Magical rays of white-hot sunlight emanated from his media-manufactured halo. And then bureaucratically engineered darkness settled over the land.
The American polity is infected with a serious imbalance of power between elites and masses, a power which is the principal threat to our democracy.
But I think we need to remember that democracy everywhere is by its nature incomplete, a work in progress.
Our right to disagree is precious but fragile. The best way to protect and preserve it is to let the other side speak without demonizing them or destroying their right to be heard. Such civil exchanges are the heart beat of democracy - essential to keeping it alive.
Madeleine M. Kunin
In Egypt today most people are concerned with getting bread to eat. Only some of the educated understand how democracy works.
As free citizens in a political democracy, we have a responsibility to be interested and involved in the affairs of the human community, be it at the local or the global level.
Before the military coup in Chile, we had the idea that military coups happen in Banana Republics, somewhere in Central America. It would never happen in Chile. Chile was such a solid democracy. And when it happened, it had brutal characteristics.
No amount of charters, direct primaries, or short ballots will make a democracy out of an illiterate people.
There's an assault on human sexuality, as Judge Scalia said, they've taken sides in the culture war and on top of that if we have a democracy, the democratic processes should be that we can elect representatives who will share our point of view and vote those things into law.
What created democracy was Thomas Paine and Shays' Rebellion, the suffragists and the abolitionists and on down through the populists and the labor movement, including the Wobblies. Tough, in your face people... Mother Jones, Woody Guthrie... Martin Luther King and Caesar Chavez. And now it's down to us.
Liberty in Islam is the liberty to be a Muslim, democracy likewise, individualism likewise.
Politics in a democracy is transactional: Politicians seek votes by promising to do things for voters, who seek promises in exchange for their votes.
A free and truly independent press - fiercely independent when necessary - is the red beating heart of freedom and democracy.
I don't understand why it has to be either - or - either socialism or democracy. Why can't we combine things to get the best of each system?
In our political system, money is power. And that means a few can have a lot more power than the rest. That's bad news for everyone else - and for our democracy itself.
The building of America has had its fair share of mistakes, but it's a constitution that's the jewel of democracy, the envy of many, and it's the most generous nation in the world.
Democracy allows rhetoric, false empathy and emotion to pummel rational thinking - so it's no wonder so many politicians thrive in it.
Because of my parents' love of democracy, we came to America after being driven twice from our home in Czechoslovakia - first by Hitler and then by Stalin.
Political civility is not about being polite to each other. It's about reclaiming the power of 'We the People' to come together, debate the common good and call American democracy back to its highest values amid our differences.
You know who is against democracy in the Middle East? The husbands. They got used to their way of life. Now, the traditional way of life must change. Everybody must change. If you don't give equal rights to women, you can't progress.
If we are to keep democracy, there must be a commandment: Thou shalt not ration justice.
It is true you cannot eat freedom and you cannot power machinery with democracy. But then neither can political prisoners turn on the light in the cells of a dictatorship.
Fundamentalists are not friends of democracy. And that includes your fundamentalists in the United States.
Without the power of the Industrial Union behind it, Democracy can only enter the State as the victim enters the gullet of the Serpent.
When Bush says democracy, I often wonder what he's referring to.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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