We focus on this email in this column despite of the fact that the email was bogus and some of its facts inaccurate. We will explain in the following why we will devote the space here to such emails, which obviously have been circulated in the organic medium until they are discredited. The reason is simple, even the authors of these emails used fake names and some of the facts cited were inaccurate, but the thrust of the messages in these emails was significant. In addition, these emails had surfaced several times over five US presidential election cycles and had circulated among so many people; simply suggests that there might be a true organic view many people had believed in and wanted to share with others.
The main thrust of the above-mentioned emails is as follows:
Professor Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor of University of Edinburgh of the late nineteen century was quoted from his studies (1887) on Athenian Democracy: 1. "A democracy is always Temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent Form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous Gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority Always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally Collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a Dictatorship." 2. "The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the Beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 Years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage."
Another Professor Joseph (or James) Olson, Hamline University School of Law, St Paul, Minnesota, was also quoted:
1. "The last Presidential election:
Number of States won by: Obama: 19 Romney: 29
Square miles of land won by: Obama: 580,000 Romney: 2,427,000
Population of counties won by: Obama: 127 million Romney: 143 million
Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Obama: 13.2 Romney: 2.1
2. Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory Romney won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of the country. Obama territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in low income tenements and living off various forms of government welfare..."
The email then added an editorial: “Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the "complacency and apathy" phase of Professor Tyler's definition of Democracy, with some forty percent of the nation's population already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase."
Although the data cited above are inaccurate; they are closer for year 2000 and 2004 Bush/Gore elections than Obama's two elections (obviously the email might be reproduced from earlier versions) and Professor Olson has denied to be the author of the above cited quotes, but the significance of the message remains to be thought provoking, i.e. does a democratic system always go through a failure cycle as implied by the email. In addition, the email contains the following comments: "If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million criminal invaders (*more like 11 million and not all criminals for sure) called illegal’s - and they vote - then we can say goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years." This comment certainly reminds us that the U.S. government seems to be unable to solve our immigrant problem or to manage a balanced budget. Furthermore, the obituary statement in the email, “United States, Born in 1776 and died in 2016” is intentionally provocative to scare and force people to think about the possibility that the American Democracy might fail like the Athenian Democracy. The persistency of this email to appear in 2016 again is simply to remind the American voters to take the 2016 presidential election seriously.
After examined this email and researched its origin and various comments made by others, including those fact-checking websites, I have come to the conclusion that emails like these with questionable authorship still could represent a valid organic view if the factual data could be corrected (or ignored) without impacting the message. In my opinion, as I have written before, democracy is merely a tool not an ideology. As a tool, it must be used skillfully according to circumstances with foresight to tailor the tool to prevent disastrous outcome. Ironically, in Greece today, its democracy seems to favor an over liberal labor majority to elect their government officials to protect a unsustainable welfare system ignoring the fact Greece is going to default on her largest sovereign debt and become bankrupt. Doesn't the above email with repeated circulation serve as a genuine warning to the American citizens? Isn't it possible this email reflects a view from a large enough population in expressing their concern about American presidential campaign, its election process and electoral vote counting method? I rather believe that the email was sent with a good intention rather than with the purpose of generating a rumor. The fact that it is circulating in every election year for the past five presidential elections must have reached a significant number of Americans across two generations.
When comes to information, we know that, on the one hand, both the organic media and the mainstream media cannot be blindly trusted, on the other hand, we should not be shy to bring information from the organic media to the mainstream media. I hope the people who have received this email will bring its message – “Is the American democracy truly representing the majority?” and “Is the majority of voters voting the American system to bankruptcy?” - to the mainstream media, we should have a serious debate.