Did You Know? Democracy

  • Wednesday, February 1, 2023
  • Jerry Summers
Jerry Summers
Jerry Summers

This single word “Democracy” is subject to various definitions depending upon to whom you are speaking…

The recent November 8th elections did not readily clear up the difference between the two main political parties in America - Democrat or Republican.

Various dictionaries interpret the term differently and once again I refuse to enter that thorny thicket to avoid losing any of my 75 dedicated readers.

The safest and shortest way to suggest what the word means is simply “government by the people”.

As to the extent of the accuracy of the expression, I leave that to the wisdom of the 375,000 residents of Hamilton County Tennessee to lend a local flavor to the debate as to its meaning.

In order to add a little levity to a serious discussion amongst 330 million plus Americans, readers might turn to the words of a famous trial lawyer from the great state of Wyoming, Gerry Spence (G.S.).

In his 92(?) years of endearing himself to a lot of juries and injured folks but not to big corporations and insurance companies, he has developed his own definitions of what the term Democracy means to him.

Once again an anonymous donor has provided me with a significant source of the definition of Democracy as expressed by G.S.

In his 2018 national best seller “So I Said, Quotes and Thoughts of Gerry Spence” (Sastrugi Press), at the tender age of 89 he defines our form of government a lot differently than the politicians in the Democrat and Republican parties.

In the words of G.S. here are his four personal interpretations:

1.) “Democracy- Seemingly a fine form of government so long as the people do not engage in it”;

2.) “Democracy- A form of government that exists chiefly as myth in the minds of the people”;

3.) “Democracy, as practiced, has not succeeded in delivering democracy”;

4.) “Democracy, as practiced in America, is that form of government that counts not ballots, but dollars.”

(A reader may not agree with what G.S. said on a variety of topics but he will at least make you think about a freedom that we still enjoy in America. Find a copy of his paperback and make up your own mind as to the accuracy of its contents in light of the current political atmosphere?)

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You can reach Jerry Summers at jsummers@summersfirm.com
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