Problems in American Democracy: Down the path of The Dark Force…

Mary Lee Johnson
4 min readAug 17, 2022
Problems in American Democracy

The notion of Christianity being hijacked is suddenly a very real part of our political debate. It should not be in the debate. As one politician famously said, we should not be thinking which side God or Jesus is on. We should be thinking in terms of whether or not we as individuals, are on the side of God….There is a solution for that. If we want judgment for others, it can be offered in the Bible. It’s what is known as Judgment Day and that only comes after we are dead. We cannot judge other people on this earth simply because we believe our religion makes us better than others.

We can judge people if we are in a court of law as jurors or judge and we are weighing the effects of breaking man-made laws. But we cannot set ourselves up as judge and jury over our fellow men because we don’t like their politics.

Christianity has been hijacked by politicians. When people leave messages about having prayed that other people should die, or their families and innocent babies should burn in hell, simply because of politics, then something is seriously out of whack with their belief in what religion is intended to do in their lives.

The Dark Force Strikes Back

Obama was famously ridiculed by the right-wing when he said people cling to their religion and their guns. And we are seeing this play out in real time, in a kind of slow-motion car crash of epic proportion on the national stage. People that cling to their guns somehow cannot imagine a world without the right to purchase an AR-15 weapon of war.

And those that cling to their religion call up people on the phone that they don’t like and tell them they are praying for their death and the destruction of their families. This is all politics all the time. But that is only when the party is one you don’t like. I remember a time when people were reluctant to share their vote or their party affiliation. And it was because the vote and the ballot were sacred things and they used screens at the voting precinct and ballot coverings for a reason.

When the GOP met after Obama was elected on the platform of Hope & Change, they decided the best way to counter this was with ridicule and nihilism. The Tea Party was funded by the Koch Brothers and the Dick Armey led group out of Texas was funded by untraceable Dark Money. And Dark Money was the theme of the day and has led us into the Dark Force.

And the idea that the Empire Strikes Back theme is the winning idea has been borne out in recent years. It is the scenario where Dark Money wins and the Resistance is forced to go underground. And this seems to be playing out in our own lifetimes. The Dark Money, the Darth Vader plan-and the notion that Right makes Might and the Good Guys finish Last has been proven to work in the Trump Era.

So the next question is one from another era of hopeful movies with Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney. In the fantasy world of film, they rally the crowd with “Are we going to take this lying Down? NO! What are we going to do about it?!”…

And everyone runs outside and starts rehearsing for the new musical play. And the end is a happy one. Because, in America, we are always playing out a vision of the cockeyed Optimist. We believe in Camelot and the shining city on a hill that is Oz.

But in real life, things are complicated. And it gets messy now when we try to look into a Crystal Ball and see a hopeful future. However, there are some green shoots. We have been able to see a vision of a future where cities look to build new infrastructure and plan for a greener and cleaner tomorrow. And that vision is often clouded by new incoming culture wars and bright shiny objects of distraction intended to keep us busy while the future plans full of happiness are destroyed.

But we know there is no destiny for us that we cannot shape in the near term. We have the power to do the right thing always. But the will and the opportunity are missing in many cases. I harken back to the time Rep.Barney Frank complained about all the very idealistic young people who wanted to ‘Occupy Wall Street” after the banking collapse.

He lamented: “Where were these people when we needed to vote for the Dodd/Frank Banking Bill?” They were sitting on the lawn protesting that neither party was working and they were the future….And they did nothing and the Tea Party elected the first wave of pro-Trump Representatives into Congress. Frank said, “These people didn’t parachute through the top of the Capitol Dome! They were elected!” (Little did he know they would break windows about a decade later in that Capitol!)

It doesn’t have to be this way. But until the perfect is always the mantra and the good is the enemy of all, then we will continue down the path of the Dark Force.