THE BLOG
06/10/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

We Can Stop Ducking the Waves of Misogyny -- Our Democracy Teeters on the Brink.

Wake up America. We are so close to losing any semblance of democracy in our country. Yes our country. America. Think I exaggerate? Take a moment and think over the last eight years and then, think again.

In a recent blog I wrote about the election situation in Zimbabwe and the United States lack of action in a country that is violating human rights every moment of every day. A place so emotionally mutilated by a syphilitic dictator that Zimbabwe has bled an estimated one quarter of its population to neighboring countries. I kept asking why the world is standing still as this crisis unfolds: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michealene-cristini-risley/the-estimated-cost-of-hum_b_103772.html

When I posted my recent blog, I received a comment from a reader that really stuck me. It made me stop and think again about the meaning of democracy, and the current application of it in our country. The comments from mgloraine read:

"The US will not be in a position to help anyone conduct fair and honest elections if we cannot have a fair and honest election here. This is a source of tremendous frustration for liberals/progressives confronted with the dozens of active human rights horror shows taking place today. We want to urge our Congress and our government as a whole to take action against the brutality and we want the common people to have a voice in the running of their own country. But if we take our eyes off of the US elections for an instant, we can be robbed of our own voice - again!! And how can we point at Zimbabwean politicians beating the opposition into submission and cry "foul!" when the Maliki regime in Iraq -which the US installed - is doing the very same thing, brutalizing and killing Sadrist Shi'ites in Basra and Sadr City in order to rig their upcoming election results?

I'm not suggesting that American's shouldn't take action, but it's really difficult to see how we can intervene in Zimbabwe when our own democracy teeters on the brink."

Wow! Mgloraine, you are right. Our Democracy has been unraveling for some time...and so many of us like tiny ostriches stick our heads in the proverbial sand and chant "all is okay, all is okay" Well, it's not.

I looked up the origin of the word Democratic in the dictionary -- just in case the definition had changed. I read this: "Democratic is characterized by free and equal participation in government or in the decision-making processes of an organization."

So my first question is directed to the Democratic National Committee. How could you possibly have made a decision-especially after the 2004 election-that would prohibit a single vote from being counted? Where does that arrogance come from? In Florida, how could you not take into consideration that the vote was set by the Republican dominated legislature? Sound familiar? Hmmm.

Once again Florida is part of a "potential situation" in the Presidential election. Only the Republicans didn't to push their own agenda, the Democratic National Committee did it for them! Can you imagine the glee echoing down the hallways of the Republican National headquarters on Our Democratic strategy? Yes, there is an "s" word involved with the DNC and it rhymes with cupid.

After Saturdays decision to give both Michigan and Florida's votes a ½ vote, many people are unhappy. For me, it is not about Obama or Clinton right now, it is about our system and how we are failing to operate as a Democracy. I have read that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid want the process to be over. So what. Who are they? Elected officials. We have forgotten what the word "elected" means.

Frankly, I am so tired of the word "feminism" used as a derogatory smear. The fact that I support Senator Clinton -- can I not be a supporter without being brandished as a feminist. Frankly, I could care less what sexual organs are attached to her being. To me she is the best candidate, period.

In the dictionary feminism is defined as attributed to women, considered to be a characteristic of, or in grammar it is used to represent a class of words or forms that refer to being female. That's it. How did it become such a repugnant slam against a gender? I am happily married women with three young, terrific boys. I don't burn my bras; I care about my husband, my family and my community. I care about issues having to do with all of us; women and men.

In fact I just celebrated my 15th wedding anniversary. My husband has been written about often in my blog and is a terrific man. We have had our ups and downs but have had the grace and the courage to work through issues. Golly -- we even talk about the issues. He is a Republican by voting record and I am a Democrat on paper. We have many a "lively" discussion on how he could have possibly voted for President Bush twice. And we laugh. He many not support my candidate but he never invalidates it as a feminist choice.

I went to the Democratic Party's website: http://www.democrats.org/a/party/history.html
The Democratic Party boasts "A national vision-based on the strength and power of millions of economically empowered, socially diverse and politically active Americans. - our Party's founders decided that wealth and social status were not an entitlement to rule." Silly me, and I thought wealth was a prerequisite to running for President!"

And if that is not enough for you to cough up your last meal, the website continues with "The common thread of Democratic history, from Thomas Jefferson to Bill Clinton, has been an abiding faith in the judgment of hardworking American families, and a commitment to helping the excluded, the disenfranchised and the poor strengthen our nation by earning themselves a piece of the American Dream."

Wow. Sign me up! Our founders decided that wealth and status was not an entitlement to rule-that each of us can earn a piece of the American Dream, that all of us have a voice. So when did the Democratic Party lose site of that initial charter? Who decided that wealth and status and power-were the way to operate within the party? Who changed the rules? I wonder how long ago did this country lost it way? How truly different are we than Zimbabwe or South Africa or even Russia? I am scared of the answer.

Remember the Disney movie, Mulan, where a young girl disguises herself as a man to save her father from going back to the Chinese Army to fight against the Huns. She realizes that her father is old and weak. Her fear is if he goes to war, he will never return alive. Mulan decides to put her life at risk and pretend to be a man. Chi Fu, a cabinet member of the Emperor discovers that Mulan is a woman-This is after she has saved the whole battalion from certain death.

Never mind her heroism, Chi fu drags her out of the tent and throws the wounded girl into the snow saying, she is a "Woooman". Oh my God! As Mulan lies in the snow, Chi Fu goes over her crimes, and speaks as if he is looking at the most vile, poisonous snake in existence. A snake that betrayed them and nothing short of death would ease her transgressions.

I would have given up on this race 1,000 times -- but not Senator Clinton. I see her push forward with steely resolve and commitment -- with a focus on the end goal. Traits that for me define women in our history that have risked their lives to create a better country. Isn't it time that 51% of Americans voices get heard? Frankly, no matter what candidate you vote for, all Americans should be heard.

So why do I care so much about Zimbabwe? The situation there is horrific and overwhelming. I care about another country, because I can have impact. I have more impact halfway around the world than I do in my own country. Teetering on the brink-indeed. Chi fu must have had a lot of sons.