A situational analysis of American democracy

This is not a conspiracy theory. It is a situational analysis.

A situational analysis is a study of the status quo of American democracy based upon a broad range of information available to the general public and open to peer review. According to Noam Chomsky, a conspiracy theory is based on selected items of secret information circulated among a small group. An institutional analysis focuses on “the public, long-term behavior of publicly known institutions, as recorded in, for example, scholarly documents or mainstream media reports, rather than secretive coalitions of individuals.” (The term “situational analysis” used in this context is either coined or plagiarized by me. I’m not sure which.)

An analysis of American democracy today cannot focus only on institutions, but needs to include every facet of our culture, every thread in the fabric of our society. Everything is interconnected. Everybody matters.

The focus is on worldview, the way people’s thoughts and values influence their opinions, with an emphasis on religion and the contrast between extremist Republicans and progressive Democrats. This Situational Analysis is solely from my worldview so it’s just a part of the very big, complex picture.

Based upon what I’ve learned from various national media over the past decade-plus, this is what I believe to be, in broad parameters, substantially true. In many cases, links are provided to articles posted at www.ProgressiveValues.org that illuminate details on various components of the big picture. Various components and issues are arranged in a framework in an attempt to make a complex scenario assessable and useful for public dialogue.

When the George W. Bush administration waged a preemptive war with Iraq, I was horrified and incredulous. I needed to know how my country could take such drastic, irrevocable action. I’d been deeply involved in politics and public affairs for many years and thought I was quite knowledgeable. My research made me aware of facets of our political process and government that provoked reactions ranging from eye-opening to mind-blowing and addictively fascinating.

I believe it is critically important that the public becomes much more well-informed about the perilous state of American democracy, particularly the contrast between extremist Republicans and progressive Democrats. One of the ways in which my unique perspective may prove helpful is that I remember well when Republicans and Democrats collaboratively governed in the best interests of the country. The “base” of the Republican Party is made up of older, white Christians from the Heartland. I came from those same roots but have purposefully gone a different direction.

The Republican Party has changed drastically over the past 30 years and is now, I believe, actively and deliberately working against traditional American democracy and the common good. It is our duty as patriotic Americans to speak out, particularly since the mainstream media is not telling a complete story.

A Framework was developed so information and opinion about the myriad factors involved would be accessible for citizen education, dialogue and action. The November 2016 elections will be a critical point in American history and determine what kind of a world our grandchildren we will leave to our grandchildren.

Now is the time. We are the people.

With audacious faith, Phyllis Stenerson — editor/curator of ProgressiveValues.org

“We must move forward in the days ahead with audacious faith. The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends toward justice.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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The mission of this website is to help develop a powerful narrative for the progressive movement for long term, systemic change.

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Sources of material about American democracy posted at www.ProgressiveValues.org include Alternet.org, AmericanProgress.org, Billmoyers.com, Commondreams.org, Democracynow.org, Enlightennext.org, GeorgeLakoff.com,  Minpost.com, motherjones.com, Onbeing.org, Pfaw.org, Philosophynow.org, Politico.com, Religiondispatches.org, Robertreich.com, Salon.com, Sojo.net, TheChristianLeft, Thedailybeast.com, TheNation.com, Thinkprogress.org, Tikkun.org, Tomdispatch.com, Truth-out.org, Uuworld.org, Yesmagazine.org and more — Exercise your responsibility as a citizen by contributing to these independent journalists. This compilation of information and inspiration would not be possible without them.

You can contribute to this website through PayPal or contact phyllis@progressivevalues.org.

see About this project and An Open Letter to America

Fair Use Notice: These pages contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This website distributes this material without profit for educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C. § 107. The many wise and articulate writers who share their knowledge with the public via the internet are profoundly appreciated. If any writer wishes to have their content amended or removed, please contact the editor at  phyllis@progressivevales.org. Thank you.

 work in progress — latest update 1/17/15  Paideia LLC © 2001–2015