submitted, not published

January 25, 2007

Letter to Editor
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Richmond, VA

Re: Presidency or Decidency?

A nation blessed with an optimal representative democracy has few problems. America's declining optimism reflects rising pessimism of more problems. Is democracy failing? No. We lack two necessary conditions for an optimized democracy.

First, people are optimally divisioned (demos) in districts and times to rule (cratia) on solving problems. If districts are too large, an elected official cannot re-present citizens' concerns and consensus. An incumbent for life will re-present a minority of one, himself. Habitual politicians never live with the problems of the unelected. With habitual politicians come habitual problems. Presidents-for-life and political nepotism indicate de facto despotism not functioning democracy.  Oppositely, minute-by-minute elections by the people is another description of anarchy.

Optimal democracy holds golden mean elections between the extremes of lifetime despotism and minutetime chaos. Optimal timing begets optimism. Optimal democracy with term-limited citizen politicians has few problems. Why? Citizen politicians make policy for the polity in the polis to be polite without police. Oppositely, when habitual crooks compromise, the citizens in the cities are criminal with coroners.

Amusingly, nepotism is Latin for non-potent. Nepotic dynasties decline because relatives are rarely potent problem-solvers like the dynasty's founding potentate. Is Parasite Hilton a Conrad Hilton? Worse than a habitual politician is a son of a habitual politician. From the word "nepotism" comes the most frequent example of floundering impotentates, nephew. Sadly, what is a problem common to a declining political dynasty? Citizens die nasty.

Second, a leader who understands the essence of democracy presides over rather than decides for an optimal democracy, walking softly and talking wisely. Has President Bush been a potent presider or a non-potent decider? Iraq is a faith-based initiative of gut reactions with revealing insults to democracy from silly soundbytes: "My way or the highway" and "I'm the decider."

Optimal democracy does not exist when a squeeky close election is claimed as unfettered and unquestioned blank checks for political capital. Democracy is not failing Iraq, America and humanity. Turning the White House into a depot of despotism, George Talker Bush degrades the Presidency into a Decidency.

Robert S. Barnett
3600 Anne Street
Richmond, VA 23225
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