Democracy doesn’t work if the electorate follows the self-indulgent values of a promising dictator. We may be living at a time when our democracy votes itself out. When slow progress in human rights and economic growth gives way to the populist urge to blow the whole thing up. Nothing works, says the man who loves war. The inner cities are in chaos, he says to middle America.

I’ve spent a lot of time, lately, in Center City Philadelphia and would be hard-pressed to identify the majority from the minority. To listen to the rhetoric of the would-be playboy dictator, Philadelphia must be a jungle of targeted killings. This, of course, is not true, like so many not-truisms used to incite. Philadelphia is a model of cultural diversity, artistic integrity, with its architectural and historical imprints. Like all our major cities, Philadelphia has its share of homeless. Yes, we need real policy wonks working with a Congress that knows the push and pull of law-making.

But when Congress fails to act, the Executive Branch does the acting. More fodder for the distortionists. The constitutional scholar is now the one out to destroy the constitution. Why not? It’s the new tantrum and new mantra of the alt.right. And Hillary, too, is more of the same they say. She’ll destroy the constitution and take away your guns. Simple. A five-year old can understand this level of thought.

RentaLife will not survive in a country of such distortions. And neither will many legitimate small businesses. The drive of the marketplace is the handshake. Imagine our businesses surviving in a country that devalues diversity. That devalues trust in the handshake.

Every renter must return. Take away that small level of trust and we have nothing.

The man running for dictator is supported by white supremacists. He fires up the pockets of cultist militias. If you’re Christian and White and Male and believe the highest value is the right to carry an assault weapon in public, then you’re in the right place. It seems to be going your way.

And if Hillary wins, we enter a new round of obstructionism. That’s just the way it goes when name-calling takes the place of reasoned debate. If you’ve conducted chants of “lock her up,” where is the room for a respectful system of checks and balances? The Supreme Court is just another tool to be stamped, “for our side only.” America is now run by hissy-fit politics.

RentaLife supports a more thoughtful way out of this mess, but only if the dictator loses.

Maybe the conservative and liberal intellectuals can take off their elitist signs and find a more common language in a larger tent. Maybe words have a better chance of coating the conversation when they are not saddle by a 140-character limit or ads designed for optimal propaganda.

RentaLife supports a return to the dullness of policy. The dullness of trust. The dullness of critical thought. And the dullness of listening. RentaLife believes elections should be funded by the Government, permitting elected officials to be more thoughtful about the people’s business. We don’t think the founders of our Republic meant to populate the government with professional fundraisers. What could we have expected from such a self-defeating system? Perhaps a self-funded attention-seeking playboy who considers ignorance a virtue. Anything to be politically-incorrect. This is where we are. Target groups who represent “the other” and you’ll get followers. You just won’t get a working democracy.

RentaLife supports candidates who value the contributions of our diverse community. Please vote.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/10/12/democracy-and-the-demagogue/