October 9th, 2013
01:07 PM ET

Zakaria: Something rotten with American system?

By Fareed Zakaria

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

It is the defining moment of a democracy – when an outgoing leader celebrates the election of a new one, from the opposing party. Think of George H.W.  Bush welcoming Bill Clinton, or Jimmy Carter doing the same for Ronald Reagan. Across the world, this is the acid test of a genuine democracy. Mexicans will tell you that they knew that had gotten there when their President, Ernesto Zedillo, after seven decades of one-party rule, allowed free elections and stood with the newly elected successor and affirmed his legitimacy.

The basic and powerful idea behind this ritual is that in a democracy, the process is more important than the outcome. If a genuine democratic process has been followed, we have to accept the results, regardless of how much we dislike them. The ultimate example of this in recent American history might be Al Gore's elegant acceptance of the process – complicated, politicized, but utterly constitutional – that put George W Bush in the White House. It must also have been very difficult for Richard Nixon to report the results of the 1960 election – which John F Kennedy won by a razor thin margin and was marred by voter fraud – but he did. However much you dislike the outcome, you respect the democratic process.

More from GPS: How the world sees the shutdown

I would have been happy to see President Obama compromise on the budget, taxes, spending, even Obamacare. But he cannot compromise on the principal that the rules of democracy must be respected, whatever the outcome. If Democrats had threatened to shut down the government or default on the debt to force the repeal of the Bush tax cuts or defund the Iraq War, I would have hoped President George Bush would also have been uncompromising.

America's power and influence abroad derive in large measure from the strength of American democracy. If American politicians start playing fast and loose with the rules, doing whatever it takes to get the results that they want, what does that say to people in Russia, Egypt, Iran, and Venezuela who get pious lectures on the rules of democracy from Americans. It tells them that something is deeply rotten with the American system right now.

Watch the video for the full take.

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Topics: GPS Show • Politics

soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. Robert

    It's corrupted.

    October 9, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • John Smith

      America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
      In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
      During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
      In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
      Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

      October 9, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
      • Michael

        The United States has also given more in charity to the rest of the world, each and every year since WWII than all other countries combined. So stick that on your scale and weight it.

        October 9, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
      • john smith

        it take only 12 cents to print one hundred dollar bill.
        Michael, just bring back one innocent civilian from dead.

        October 10, 2013 at 2:21 am |
      • Pablo

        The hundred dollar bill has provided food and medicine to many recipients of American generosity.

        October 10, 2013 at 3:41 am |
      • Jethro

        ...and you are not given to exaggeration?

        October 10, 2013 at 8:20 am |
      • j. von hettlingen

        The Tea Baggers and their supporters don't think it a big deal for the US to default.

        October 10, 2013 at 9:18 am |
      • j. von hettlingen

        They dwell on the Reagan era and have lost total touch with reality.

        October 10, 2013 at 9:20 am |
      • Trevor

        John- You're not original, I've seen this same "cut and paste" crap from you atleast a dozen times...do you have anything that is actually new? Please tell me you have the mental capacity to come up with something new, or do you just "troll" around CNN's opinion sections spewing the same crap seeing if someone will bite and get into a pointless argument with you?

        October 10, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • ✠RZ✠

      To quote a line out of Heritage History, "The crises of the Roman republic were more due to internal corruption and infighting rather than reactions to outside enemies". And to echo Paul Craig Roberts, "Unlike the fall of the Roman Empire which may have taken a couple of centuries, I suspect ours will be much more rapid".

      October 9, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • RajB

      Fareed Zakaria needs to go back to English 101. He used principal when he actually meant principle. Its time for him to start plagiarizing again.

      October 9, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
      • badcafe

        That's all you got out of the article – a typo? I suspect people aren't knocking on your door asking you to write op-eds for CNN or Time Magazine...

        October 9, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • martin

      The U.S. Congress has been taken over by a majority of men and women who thanks to their financial sponsors have become billionaires and as such only defend their sources of income and those of their sponsors. Al Capone was a decent person compared to these thugs!

      October 10, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • Steve

      Actually Obama was his own prophet. In his book that he refuses to read he stated that it was important for any legislative work to have some kind of buy in by the minority. The way that the American system is set up is if the minority really dislikes something it is in their power to foil it. Thus it is important for the other side to have skin in the game, even if they don't like the new law.

      Even a few symbolic features like Tort reform might have been enough. However, the Dems did not need a single GOP vote. So they left in all the stuff that protected their private interests groups and thus the GOP has every reason to throw everything inlcuding the kitchen sink at it.

      There is nothing rotten here. Our system of laws and balances were set to encourage the majority to give the minority bone. It did not happen and the angry dog is tearing up the house.

      October 10, 2013 at 9:17 am |
  2. MRA

    Yes with out the leverage of government shut down, Obama would go to the congress and tell them let's tie the SS benefits to the CPI, and also cut some medicare benefits. What a fantasy in a dreamland ?

    October 9, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  3. J G

    This has been going on for awhile now, Fareed. And it's gotten worse since Obama took office – he's just as partisan as the Republican members of the House. He signed Obamacare despite the majority of the public being against it.

    Until we get more moderate folks back in office on both sides of the aisle, nothing is going to change. So the key is figuring out HOW we can do that. Do we need to eliminate PACs? Eliminate campaign contributions? Eliminate the parties entirely so that we can start electing the best candidates instead of the best candidate put forth by the Democrats and Republicans (who will certainly turn out to be at the extreme ends)?

    October 9, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Publius Novus

      The Affordable Care Act was passed by the Senate on a vote of 60-39–a supermajority. It passed the House on a vote of 219-212. The President signed the bill into law. That is how we legislate under the Constitition of the United States. If a majority of both houses pass a bill and the president signs it, it is law. The Constitition takes no notice of conventional wisdom–even if supported by some polls–that a particular law is unpopular.

      October 9, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • rabbiart

      J G you do not understand, or maybe you wish to subvert our system of government. It is nonsense to say "even though a majority of Americans were against Obamacare". A majority elected Obama and the legislators who passed the affordable care act. Then a majority re-elected Obama, preserved a Democratic majority in the Senate, and by the way, a majority of voters voted for Democratic candidates to the House of Representatives. It is simply nonsense to say that "a majority of Americans" are for or against anything. It's either an unsubstantiated assertion, or simply a poll that you like.
      I'd say "a majority of Americans" are for same-sex marriage, legalization of marijuana, effective regulation of political contributions, and a number of other causes. Does that mean all these things must be enacted into – or out of – law, because I say they are what "a majority of Americans support"? This is utter nonsense.

      October 9, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • sonny chapman

      Yes, it's all Obama's fault. He had the audacity to win the Presidency & then he really picked a fight by getting reelected. It's in Obama's DNA to try to get opposing sides together & come up with a deal. It's in the Tea Party's DNA to DESTROY things.Much easier to destroy than to build.

      October 9, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
      • Terry

        bo is an anti Ameican traitor, out to detroy and turn this into a thirdword hole

        October 9, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
      • CW

        Leaders compromise. They don't tell the opposition my way or the highway. Clinton was a leader. Obama doesn't play nice with others and that is a fact. Chicago thug politics works in Chicago, but fails anywhere with educated voters.

        October 9, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
      • jdv14476

        By the way, almost all of Obama's contributions to his Presidential legacy were accomplished by Executive Order, not the will of the People. The People want to build a great society, but they also want to build it correctly, not at the barrel end of a gun (Executive Order), so to speak. I was always taught to lead by example, not a stick.

        October 9, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
      • Larry

        When has Obama EVER done anything beyond partisan politics as president? He and his liberal cronies rammed Obamacare through, even though they knew the program was fatally flawed. We already have Medicare and Medicaid – why not revise and expand the existing programs? Oh, no...we can't do that. We have to throw out everything so that we look like the hero. And Obama's supporters are even worse. If you disagree with Obama's agenda, you're a racist, you're a hater. You are not allowed to have an opposing opinion. Period.

        The sad part is that the GOP has gotten to almost the same point.

        October 10, 2013 at 8:18 am |
    • Publius Novus

      The majority of the American public is against the ACA? Really? 43% of the American public supports the ACA. 16% believe it is not liberal enough–they would like to see it amended–not repealed–to include a public option or total public funding. Only 35% believe the law is too liberal, and not even all of those would like to see it repealed. But in any event, the ACA was passed 60-39 in the Senate (a supermajority) and 219-212 in the House. The President signed it. Under the Constitution, that makes it a law, no matter what the polls say. The only polls that count for bills are the polls of the House and Senate and the WH.

      October 9, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
      • Daniel Daronda

        Thank you Publius Novus...... very well stated........ what part of this do the Tea Party losers not understand? How can we get them to stop watching Fox News 24×7 and start to educate themselves about exactly how our awesome American Government runs? Senator Ted Cruz and his cohorts need to be severely reprimanded, in public, by the US Supreme Court, for the unlawful disruption of the United States Government, heavily fined and then kicked out of office............ and please don't give these losers an unemployment check........ 🙁

        October 13, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • gateway

      The majority of the public is NOT against Obamacare! That's what the Tea Party people say, but it's not true.

      October 9, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
      • Dane15

        I am not in the Tea Party... and I am against it...

        October 9, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
      • Dane15

        And who are you speaking for?... There was a much better way of dealing with the health care issue than giving it to the government bureaucrats who are not the best with the business they have at hand... the bill composed of thousands of pages of taxation... and for them to have the gall to say we will know what is in the bill after we pass it is pure insanity... I will put this in common terms – "Let me have your credit card with pin and trust me I will not spend it without direct benefit to you..." it is a chumps play... that is all...

        October 9, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
      • ArtR

        There is so much ignorance in the population that a poll such as "are you against Obamacare" is meaningless. In addition the poll results are different whether you use ACA or Obamacare – that shows the level of ignorance. When you poll on the individual provisions of Obamacare,which are concrete, a majority of those polled like them.

        The repubs think that if you say that most people are against Obamacare enough times, it'll make it true.

        October 9, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
      • JC

        It's not a majority. At least not yet. Most people are sitting back waiting to see how it plays out before deciding. As far as the delusional ones who choose to believe that the Republican's "plan" of allowing insurance to be purchased across state lines and limiting malpractice claims is the answer to our health care dilemma, my only response is this. Hahahahahahahahahahahah... LOL. LMAO. HAHAHAHHAHAHAHA.

        October 10, 2013 at 8:46 am |
      • Trevor

        ArtR- There is poll that has been conducted that found EVERY provision of the ACA favorable (out of a 5000+ page bill)? Could you cite ths source of the poll and what "provisions" were found favorable and list the TOTAL "provisions" in the bill...

        October 10, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Guest

      I'm tired of hearing how the majority of Americans did not support Obama care – the Americans who voted no in surveys did not want its current version because they wanted a single payer system.

      October 9, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • Tzedekh

      You've misrepresented the statistics regarding Obamacare. Many of those opposed to the law thought it didn't go far enough - that is, was hobbled because it didn't contain a single-payer system or a public option.

      October 10, 2013 at 1:57 am |
    • Mike

      The ZGOP wants to repeal Obamacare, but they can't even come up with a suggestion on what to do with Healthcare. They want to keep it business as usual so they can keep stuffing their pockets.

      October 10, 2013 at 9:01 am |
  4. Allen

    This writer seems to forget that the opposing party was also elected. Many of them on a platform of resisting the progressive platform. That to is democracy. It is typical progressive dishonesty when they lament the democratic process when it doesn't give them the results they desire.

    October 9, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Stone Icon

      Yes but even so each Congressman represents only a single district of the US, and the House of Represenatives is only 1 of 3 branches of our government. The Democrats control 2. I've forgotten the actual number of vote but I believe the President represents 60 million. What part of 'majority wins' do you not understand. This means the country, as a whole, does what the majority has indicated. It does not mean that the losers get to hold the majority hostage and threaten to take the entire country down the tubes if they don't get there way. If you can't see that then you maybe you're more anarchist than republican.

      October 9, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
      • CW

        What part of tyranny of the majority do you not understand? We live in a republic, not a democracy. You might want to educate yourself. Republics prevent tyrannical rule which in this case is one side (a simple majority) telling the rest how their lives must be run. We will fight you to the bitter end. Get the hell out of our lives!

        October 9, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
      • Daniel Daronda

        Awesome comment Stone Icon...... 🙂 The sad fact of the matter is that people like Allen and CW and irTravis, deep down inside, just hate the fact that a so-called Black Man is our President.......... even though he is half white! They watch Fox News 24×7 and would rather destroy America that work with the man in charge, to find a winning solution to the very very tough issues that are facing us......... what they don't realize is: When America turns into a Syria, we all will lose, we all will see our lives go down the tubes, we all will fail.......... 🙁

        October 13, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
  5. JC

    "If Democrats had threatened to shut down the government or default on the debt to force the repeal of the Bush tax cuts or defund the Iraq War..."

    This is exactly how the Vietnam War finally ended. Congress simply defunded it, and Nixon had no choice but to finally bring American troops home. That was a bad thing, Fareed?

    October 9, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • Jack 2

      He probably wasn't in America then

      October 9, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
      • CW

        So true. I am sick and tired of people with almost no ties to this country telling those of us whose families have been here for hundreds of years how to live.

        October 9, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
      • irTravis

        That describes 90% of the anchors at CNN. And how funny was it that every one of these foreign anchors was trying to push the US into war in Syria. Two weeks ago that was a huge issue and now today, now it's nothing. I'm glad to know that our troops are safe from people like this. One day hopefully our country will be safe from people like thisas well.

        October 11, 2013 at 2:28 am |
      • Daniel Daronda

        But he knows MORE about America and American history than you will EVER know Jack 2......... and that goes for you too CW and irTravis......... so take your scared little white boy comments and Jack off.............. until you twerps educate yourselves to even half the level of Fareed Zakaria, your ignorance sticks out like a sore thumb........ 🙁

        October 13, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Publius Novus

      Obviously you weren't around. Nixon signed the Paris Peace Accords, which were negotiated by Sec. of State Kissinger. The terms were basically those that had been agreed at the end of the Johnson Administration, but rejected by Thui and Ky at Kissinger's prodding. The last American troops left on March 31, 1973. The war was not defunded.

      October 9, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • r c

      That is different. There was no "Vietnam law" passed by congress, Obamacare was. Obamacare is the law. If Republicans want to rid the country of it they should do it the American way – win elections.

      October 9, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
      • irTravis

        And the border wall also was passed into law, and guess who did not fund the border wall. Oh but of course it's okay because you people want the illegals to come over here so they can have protest on the closed national mall that Obama was trying to prevent warWorld War II veteran and Vietnam veterans from visiting this last week. Real classy Barry Obummer. We do see that your Barry-cades didn't last though and those vets were allowed to go and visit their Memorial despite the Democrats refusing to allow them to visit those memorials.

        October 11, 2013 at 2:33 am |
  6. MRA

    According to the senator Obama in 2006 when the debt was around $9T, raising it was unpatriotic. Had he been a senator now, wonder how he would have felt it when the debt is close to $17T and still asking to raise it. Would it be a treason?

    October 9, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  7. Mas

    Extra ordinarily well put. A blatently honest commentary.
    Our politicians are acting like street thugs of some of the lawless countries around the world.
    They are running this country and its values into ground. Is it the arrogant culture in DC or something bigger than cancer that is eroding the structure of this county/system? Very very disturbed by what is going on..

    October 9, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • mountainlady

      I generally avoid the "opinion" articles because I'm really trying to get some unbiased journalism but this is rather well said.

      October 9, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Daniel Daronda

      Superb comment Mas! Yes indeed, street thugs, that watch Fox News 24×7, are being allowed to shutdown the Government of the United States of America........ sickening beyond measure......... 🙁

      October 13, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  8. Ben

    Our government is in a partial shutdown for the first time in 17 years, congress has the lowest approval rating in living history, and the federal government has debt equivalent to buying a new luxury car for every last citizen. I'm not sure I can come up with a better scenario for a rotten democracy, to put it quite lightly.

    Democracy got us into this, but I'm not so sure our current democracy would get us out. When was the last time you heard someone say I voted for A because I didn't want B to get in, or I voted for A because they were the lesser of two evils. I can tell you I hear it nearly every time someone votes. That's a terrible way of choosing a candidate for a job. You should choose someone for a job based upon how qualified they are compared to the other pool of applicants.

    In no private job in the US is the pool of candidates restricted to two individuals chosen through a ritualistic complicated process that the majority of people don't understand and who are chosen only with regards to how electable they will be and not how good of a job they will do.

    What does a hiring manager do when they don't see candidates they like? They wait until they get more applicants if possible. Why can't we do the same as the American public? Have an option for a vote of no confidence on the ballots. If the majority vote as such, new elections will be held with new candidates. Your would have to limit the number of elections to half a dozen or so at one month each, otherwise it could go on forever.

    October 9, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
  9. citizenUSA

    Yeah, yeah, I meant the Constitution, not the Bill of Rights.

    October 9, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
  10. citizenUSA

    What?

    October 9, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
  11. citizenUSA

    Too bad CNN is so biased they wouldn't let me "soundoff". In short, the problem with America are Americans.

    October 9, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • Pablo

      The problem with earth is people.

      October 10, 2013 at 3:48 am |
  12. scottw

    only a very few are not folowing the proces – lead by that crybaby BONEHEAD.

    October 9, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
  13. Jack 2

    Nothing rotten here except for Obama's style of presidency. His style creates division whether he intends it or not.

    October 9, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  14. Jack 2

    I'd call lying to the public from theis president and his helper Hillary as rotten.

    October 9, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  15. sonny chapman

    SECESSION !! If the Tea Party could just get the geographical logistics worked out.

    October 9, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Dane15

      Succeed?... No way we are already going to be broke... and we will all end up in UN Bankruptcy Court... China gets California, Japan gets AK, Europe gets New England, Canada gets Minnesota, and Saudi's get the rest... Shalom Alikum

      October 9, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • George

      It could be done. If all of the tea party people, as well as others who would like to secede, move to Texas and enliven the movement which has been alive in Texas for a good number of years, it could happen for Texas. I really do not think the rest of the nation will mind at all.

      October 9, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
  16. evilroyslade

    Americans have always been divided by color, wealth and politics. Spending more than we take in hit 9T under Bush driving the country into moral and monetary bankruptcy. President Obama asked the repubs to participate in the ACA process but all he heard from repubs was and always was NO. If repubs want to reduce the deficit how about enabling solutions, quit putting poison bills into everything they do. Tax paying jobs instead of food stamps would be a good place to start..

    October 9, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
  17. Sean T

    We are not a democracy, we are a Constitutional Republic. So tired of reading this inaccurate reference point.

    October 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
  18. Sean T

    I'll cut the deficit by 50% in my first term. Deficit at the time $10Trillion.

    Deficit now five years in and into term 2? $17Ttrillion and counting. Cut by 50%?

    Try grow by 70%. But then again, it's not his fault. It's not the fault of any Democrat is it, they have nothing to do with the mess we have do they.

    October 9, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • JJ495

      Sean – you are mixing up debt and deficit. The deficit has been cut by 60% – it was $1.4T in 2009 and finished up at $650B for 2013. The deficit has been cut by over 50% as Obama stated in his goal. Your figures are concerning the debt.

      October 10, 2013 at 1:47 am |
  19. J-Man

    The last thing America needs is a non-American telling us what is wrong with us. If America weren't the greatest country on the planet Earth, I suspect Fareed would have not come here. I don't know or care where he came from but he is welcome to go back at any time, including now.

    October 9, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Paul

      Would you've listened to Fareed if he were white and from somewhere in Europe. You better go back from where you are from and take your clan with you.

      October 9, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
    • Daniel Daronda

      My dear ignorant fool J-Man, when you have a graduate degree from Harvard, like Fareed, and when you have been invited to give the commencement address at Harvard, like Fareed, and when you have such an awesome depth and breadth of knowledge of world affairs and politics such that PhD's and MD's are in awe of you, like so many of us are regarding Fareed, when you can speak intelligently and ask brilliant questions to kings, queens, presidents, pundits, scientists & lawyers, like Fareed can and does all the time, when you can give a brilliant editorial on your own CNN GPS weekly show, that knocks our socks off, like Fareed does every week,.............. then and only then are you allowed to stand in judgement of him................ until then, take your ignorant comment and flush it down the toilet, where it belongs......... 🙁

      October 10, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
  20. beevee

    US has been put to shame in the eyes of other democratic countries because of the few ass***** in one party that cannot accept a democratically elected president as president of the country and want to tarnish his presidency by any means even if it meant putting the country in a financial diaster. We need to kick these bums out of office.

    October 9, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • CW

      Wrong country. You just described a dictatorship. We don't have one. The country is turning on Obama sycophants. Enjoy the next two years.

      October 9, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Daniel Daronda

      Very well said.......... you have "nailed it", my friend......... 🙂

      October 10, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
  21. SlowPlayer

    Well said Zakaria!!

    October 9, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
  22. Pierre

    As a Canadian myself and benefitig from UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE, I can not comprehend the fuss leading to the smearing campaign exerted by a few lunatics and assh,, s from a minority adhering to the Tea Party (such as Ted
    Cruze and cronies). I find myself appaled to find out and realize that all of this kerkuffle is on account of finally providing helath care to all 0 which is a lot more beneficial to a society than allowing so called free spiritied people to fire in crowds at will with artillery type shotguns ! I guess I am very happy not to be an American citizen Shame on you !

    October 9, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • LifeIsGood

      And we're quite glad you didn't become a US citizen too! Is your awesome healthcare the reason so many Canadians come here for specialized care so often? If the ACA is so great, why is our President and Congress exempt from it? If people are signing up by the millions, this administration would be talking about it nonstop instead of hiding the numbers. They keep talking about the thousands who have opened accounts. Opening an account is the only way to be able to see how much it costs so why don't they tell us how many of those people are actually signing up. The middle class will be the new uninsured in America and the poor and illegals will continue to get the free healthcare they've always gotten.

      October 9, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
      • Timmy Suckle

        I kissed my way up to VP at a health insurance company. Now I take over $600,000 of your health care dollars for NO VALUE ADDED to your health care. And that’s just me. Now think about how many other VPs, Directors, Managers, etc. are at my company alone. Now multiply that by thousands of others at hundreds of other health insurance companies. From 10 to 25% of your health care dollars go towards administration that adds NO VALUE to your health care. But my company’s PAC dollars will continue to fool you little people into thinking that a single payer system will be bad. Little people like you are so easy to fool. Little people also don’t realize that a single payer system is the ONLY system that would allow little people (as an entire country) to negotiate better health care prices. Little people don’t realize that the Medical Cartels already know that. And that is the reason why the Medical Cartels spend so much PAC money from the hospitals and doctors lobbying against a single payer system. Some little people say that a single payer system would cost you little people more. But if that were true, then wouldn’t the hospitals and doctors WANT that extra money? Yes they would. So why do the Medical Cartels lobby against a single payer system? It’s because the Medical Cartels know it would allow little people to negotiate better health care prices. And that’s what the Medical Cartels are afraid of. Period.
        But us big wigs at insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmacy companies don’t ever need to worry about health care no matter what it costs. We get our health care paid for one way or another by you little people. And we get the little people that work at our companies to contribute to our PACs. And us big wigs say it’s to protect the little peoples’ jobs. But in reality it would be in the little peoples’ best interest to NOT contribute to the PAC. Again, little people are so easily fooled. I won’t ever have to worry about losing my job with so many little people being brain washed by the Medical Cartels’ PAC money. Not only that, the Medical Cartels’ PAC money is used to elect so many republicans that will never allow a single payer system. Republicans have always fought against any meaningful health care reform. But that’s what our Medical Cartels’ PACs pay them for. Politicians can be bought so easily.
        Pretty soon the only people that will be able to afford health care is us big wigs. And that’s the way it should be. We don’t want you little people using up the resources when we need them. And once again, I thank you little people for capping my SS tax at the $113,700 level. Now I only pay 1.2% SS tax and you little people pay 6.2%. Also, thank you for extending my tax breaks. I’m using the extra money on my vacation houses.

        October 9, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • Daniel Daronda

      Thanks Pierre, your Canadian viewpoint is a good one indeed! The fact that the Canadians and the Brits have Universal Health Care for ALL their citizens is absolutely awesome. There are 50 million Americans that have absolutely NO health insurance right now, and their numbers are increasing, and that does not include the illegal aliens. The fact of the matter is that hospitals were billing the US Government more and more, with each passing year, until the costs became so ridiculously high, that they made no sense at all, forcing the government to act, to prevent us from sinking under ever increasing national debt! Obama is trying to fix the problem, and needs our strong support is this very tough task! Tim Suckle's comment below is very well worded, and shows us the situation from the "rich" insider working for the health insurance companies........ and he is right...... which makes an even stronger case for every single American to be clamoring for change, by embracing Obamacare! What a shame that healthcare VP's and those ignorant losers, called the Tea Party, that were so easily recruited by the healthcare VP's want to maintain the failing status quo........ 🙁

      October 10, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
  23. Plagiarist

    I winder who Farred stole this article from. It is appalling that CNN still employs this self professed plagiarist.

    October 9, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
  24. padresfanvoices

    Shrinking government or making it smarter and fairer are all great discussions, but extortion and threatening to blow up the entire system and the democratic process that made us the greatest county on earth (and the world's financial mattress and currency!) is insane no matter what the issue.

    Yes, I know the media has only used words like hostage, blackmail and now extortion (Fareed's word), but someone needs people to understand that organizations like Al-Qaeda know if they are lucky they can kill a some of us, but their big goals are to destroy our democratic system and inflict as much economic harm as possible.

    Economically, 9/11 may become a pin prick compared to what these 30 or 40 people are threatening - maybe 20 times worse the 2008 recession and ironically they could dramatically increase our debt if the rest of the world wants more interest for trust and credibility hard earned but easily destroyed - yes it's time for someone to talk about how home grown terrorists may do what all the people and countries who hate us haven't been able to. It’s time to call a duck a duck!

    October 9, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
  25. RUKidding me

    What an utterly stupid piece. Not only comparing apples and oranges but comparing apples with hypothetical oranges. Is this what passes for analysis in America now? Give me a break.

    October 9, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
  26. Karl Karlsson

    President Obama has no place in the creation of laws, only in their enforcement. The fact that his figurehead position gets so much attention is part of the problem involving uneducated voters in the United States.

    Regardless of that, Democracy clearly IS working, despite what Mr. Zakaria is saying. The President us attempting to bully one half of the legislative branch of government, despite their legal majority in that particular house. His refusal to compromise, and his insistence at using his veto power to strike down any idea that he sees as "unfair" to his party (not the people of America), will result in the United States defaulting on its debt.

    October 9, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
  27. Kenny

    Part of democracy is the ability of the minority to throw a wrench into the machinery. That is what is happening here. Checks and Balances. Sometimes nothing gets done, oh well.

    October 9, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • Daniel Daronda

      But what if: All the time nothing gets done...... oh not so well...... because it then means that thousands of people in Washington DC are getting huge salaries, for arguing until the cows come home........ but the failing status quo continues blundering along, until it finally crashes into a pile of rubble...... that used to be, once, a long time ago, a great country.......... history bears me out.......... all those empires of the past, that our now buried in the sands of time, failed for some real reasons........ 🙁

      October 10, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
  28. rtrauben

    the process was overturned by the courts and "best practices".election finance was "reformed"
    and parlimentary procedure was "reforned" to accomodate the process. 50% of the 9-5 hours a
    congress persons day is out of the office when they are in washington. 40% of the remaining
    days on the weekday do not meet the definition "being on the job on the floor of their respective
    houses".the remaining time is spent avoiding votes by fake fillibusters, keeping topics off the
    discussion agenda at the speakers whim, revoting on the same issue 42 times in a single year,
    renegging on payments on services required by prior votes, mugging for the camera for the talk
    shows (sorry) and denying executive and court appointments.

    October 9, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
  29. Alfred Wiratunga

    As an immigrant I am confused with the opinions expressed by the so called Americans through many generations. It is not "Democracy" that is rotten but the American Democracy today. We elect representatives with less than 25% of Registered Voters. Do we truly care about our government representatives federal or state? When these pin heads do something we do not like or agree on we blame everybody but not ourselves for electing or not voting at all. Where is the power of the people? Do not like the current system why not get changed collectively.

    October 9, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • TheGander2

      One word apathy. Till it affects you or your pocketbook, people just "don't care". Till more of the "We The
      People...." get involved nothing will change. Where is the "Occupy Movement?" One morning America will
      not be a Superpower, but a 2nd Rate Country.

      October 10, 2013 at 12:00 am |
  30. Anthony Torres

    I am one that is going to work as hard as my 67yrs. of age will take me to get as many of these idiots/traitors out of office. We as a people should not tolerate this type of behavior from our so called representatives. I don't know who they are speaking for but it sure is not me,my family,friends,acquaintances and the majority of the US, so we must get rid of this cancer. As soon as possible 2014, we must all come out and vote none of this 25 to 30%,we must speak out with a much bigger voice.

    October 9, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • Daniel Daronda

      God bless you Anthony Torres...... 🙂 Too many folk in Washington DC, these days, are lacking in character. My mother taught me, 50 years ago, that character is composed of: Morals, Values, Integrity & Decency.......... these things are not being taught to most kids in America today...... 🙁 In the entire House and Senate, we have only one human being who has incredible character, and her name is: Elizabeth Warren........... we need all of our politicians to be like her, when they grow up........ and therein lies the snafu....... 🙁

      October 13, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
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