According to Wikipedia the boiling frog metaphor is defined as:
“The boiling frog is a parable describing a frog being slowly boiled alive. The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. The story is often used as a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to or be aware of threats that arise gradually.”
The question we all face – Is the current environment in the US of the past 10+ years equatable to this metaphor? Are we experiencing a slow erosion of our democracy? I think yes. The list of incremental changes that contribute to the degradation is long. Gerrymandering. The ‘Citizens United” decision. Voting restrictions. Special interest PACs. Ever increasing deficit spending. Discriminatory regulations. Political croneyism.
Each decision, action or event is not sufficient to rouse a grass roots reaction. Everyone is faced with more personal issues of higher priority. Most of us are not, and have not, been political activists. Further, there is not a well established movement to actively counter the trend. Of course there are activist groups such as the ACLU, but not the broad based national movement required to counter the established political power. The political process has been corrupted and is the force behind the slow erosion of our democracy. The answer is to engage the political process, drive changes and slowly reverse the erosive trend.
It seems that we will have to experience a political crisis of sufficient magnitude to trigger a broad based reaction that will endure and make the changes required to reverse the trend. The current events in Washington suggest that there is significant potential for such a crisis. That may be simultaneously good and bad news. It may be our fate, however, that we must endure a major political crisis in order to realize a shift in the trend and slowly return to a healthy democracy. Just a thought.
Photo by DonkeyHotey