2017-06-12 13:36:18 UTC
Jean-Jacques Rousseau tells us "Representative Democracy is a contradiction in terms." In other words, all elected officials are simply temporary dictators, with no real incentive to serve the will of the people, at all. I'm inclined to agree with this. Elected representatives, with few exceptions, serve their own interests, to the total exclusion of the interests of their actual electorate.
Now, in the U.S., with its strong traditions of freedom, individualism and independence, bordering on total anarchy, the only way to get the people to tolerate these "temporary dictators" they elect, is profound and intense disinformation and hypocrisy. Hence, the hagiographical treatment of U.S. presidents. All U.S. Presidents are portrayed as virtual saints, and paragons of perfect virtue, by most popular U.S. historians, in any case. For, if we acknowledged what these elected officials were actually doing, the entire system would collapse. So, even a total waste of skin like John F. Kennedy is still, quite frequently, treated with awe and reverence.
This was brought most forcefully to mind by a recent conversation with a friend of mine in which she described the current President, Donald Trump, as "The anointed one, by God". I'm not joking, that is exactly, what she said, and, she was quite serious about it. So, I got to thinking about that, a bit. Now, in the Christian tradition, anyway, "Those anointed by God", quite frequently, have a very special function. Their purpose is to suffer for the sins of mankind, to be martyred, even crucified. And, given the number of powerful enemies Donald Trump is indeed making currently, at all points along the political spectrum, I believe it is very possible indeed, that crucifixion, probably figuratively speaking, could well be in his future. He might well be impeached, convicted, and sent to prison for life, if, as is likely, the Democrats retake control of Congress.
So, what would be the effects now, or at any time in American history, in the past, if a president were impeached, convicted and sent to prison for life? I would suggest that this precedent would make it quite impossible for representative democracy to continue in the U.S. Immediately, everyone would want ALL elected representatives sent to prison for life! So, I suspect, the system would have to be replaced by some form of direct democracy, perhaps, currently, all citizens proposing and voting on their own laws and bills, on the internet. In the past, pre-internet, I'm not really sure what would have happened, but, I suspect the system would have been very severely shaken, indeed.