Saturday, April 6, 2024

Musings on DEI, Democracy, Demagoguery and Providing for the Common Good

By Rudy Barnes, Jr., April 6, 2024

  Many commentators have opined that the political extremes of polarized partisan politics threaten democracy; but American democracy is by majority rule, and that’s likely to continue, no matter how polarized our politics become.  The real risk is that polarized partisan politics are a dysfunction of politics that ignore the common good of freedom and human rights.


DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) is like affirmative action.  It emphasizes contentious issues that can promote the common good, but that are also a siren call to political activists who promote more political division than the reconciliation needed to maintain the fragile balance between political rights and responsibilities in America’s polarized partisan democracy.

Demagoguery is an issue in America’s presidential race, and polls indicate that voters are divided along party lines.  Donald Trump, the GOP nominee, is a radical right demagogue; and President Biden corrupted his political integrity when he assured Israel’s Netanyahu, a Zionist demagogue, that he was a fellow Zionist and that “America has Israel’s back.”  

     Netanyahu’s IDF has killed over 32,500 civilians in Gaza, and destroyed many of their homes and civilian infrastructure with strikes that have violated international humanitarian law.  Even so, after rebuking Netanyahu over violations of international  law, Biden has continued to provide military aid to Israel in its war against Hamas in Gaza.


        Biden’s duplicity in continuing to provide military assistance to Israel while urging Israel to minimize Palestinian casualties has only exacerbated the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.  An IDF strike on  April 3 killed 7 workers from World Central Kitchen, ending their humanitarian mission.  Jose Andres heads World Central Kitchen and believes the  IDF strike was intentional.

        Biden’s loyalty to Netanyahu as a Zionist demagogue and his continued aid to Israel in its unlawful acts against Palestinians in Gaza should become even more of an issue in the November elections.  Such military aid is a violation of the Foreign Assistance Act, and conflicts with international humanitarian law and democratic ideals that define the common good.     

       Providing for the common good is critical in both democracy and Christianity.  It’s a moral imperative of the greatest commandment to love God and our neighbors of other races and religions as we love ourselves.  It was taken from the Hebrew Bible, taught by Jesus, and has been accepted by Islamic scholars as a common word of faith.

America cannot sustain a healthy democracy unless its politics provide for the common good; and that won’t happen so long as Democrats and Republicans continue to put party loyalty ahead of providing for the common good.  Neither DEI nor demagoguery can fix that.  It will take more independent candidates or a new party to break the partisan logjam. 


On Promoting the Common Good as Essential for Political Legitimacy in a democracy, see

On an open convention as A better option for Democrats than Biden, see The Ezra Klein Show, NYTimes, February 16, 2024, at NYT Audio app, Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, or Google.

On Biden providing military aid to Israel through a loophole while advocating humanitarian aid in Gaza, see US uses loophole to keep 100 arms sales to Israel under the radar amid Gaza war at, 6 Mar 2024.    

“A day after President Biden asserted that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was ‘hurting  Israel more than helping Israel,’ Mr. Netanyahu dismissed Biden’s contention as ‘wrong.’ Netanyahu asserted that his policies “are supported by the overwhelming majority of the Israelis.  Biden said that Netamyahu’s military strategy was ‘contrary to what Israel stands for, and I  think it’s a big mistake.  So I want to see a cease-fire.  Netanyahu] cannot have 30,000 more Palestinians dead as a consequence of his  pursuit of Hamas.’  The president’s comments once again highlighted the delicate position the U.S. has found itself in: arming Israel while at the same time providing humanitarian aid to Gaza. See Biden-Netanyahu Dispute Over Gaza War Heats Up After the president asserted that Mr. Netanyahu’s military strategy has been “hurting Israel more than helping Israel,” Israel’s leader dismissed his contention as “wrong.” at                         

Reuters has described “US aid policy on Gaza as 'absurd' given its military support for Israel, according to Michael Fakhri, a Lebanese-Canadian law professor mandated by the U.N. Human Rights Council to document and advise on global food security.  Fakhri warned of chaos as starving people joust for supplies. He called the port and air drops methods of "last resort". "The time when countries use air drops, and these maritime piers, is usually if not always, in situations when you want to deliver humanitarian aid into enemy territory," he said.  Fakhri said such methods made little sense while Washington continues to provide military support to Israel.  He envisages an additional $17.6 billion in new military assistance to Israel as its war against Hamas continues in response to their deadly Oct. 7 attacks.  "That's more than allyship. That's a marriage ... It's almost incomprehensible," he said of U.S. support to Israel, calling the recent aeddid measures a "performance to try to meet a domestic audience with (U.S. presidential) elections around the corner". "That's the only rational coherent interpretation (for these aid announcements) because ...from a humanitarian perspective, from an international perspective, from a human rights perspective, it is absurd in a dark, cynical way," he said.  Fakhri, who has been critical of Israel on social media, on Thursday told the Geneva Human Rights Council that Israel was destroying Gaza's food system as part of a broader "starvation campaign". Israel's envoy called this a lie and it strongly denies restricting aid into Gaza.  See,%22That's%20more%20than%20allyship.

On how Netanyahu is making Israel radioactive, Thomas Friedman has said “Israel today is in grave danger. With enemies like Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis and Iran, Israel should be enjoying the sympathy of much of the world. But it is not. Because of the way Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his extremist coalition have been conducting the war in Gaza and the occupation of the West Bank, Israel is becoming radioactive and diaspora Jewish communities everywhere increasingly insecure.”  And Friedman fears it’s about to get worse.  Netanyahu has broken Israel with his destructive policies but is not seeking to fix the problems he has caused.


Biden’s Words Over Deeds.  Biden’s misplaced love and loyalty for Israel has prevented him from pressuring Netanyahu to agree to a cease fire that could result in humanitarian aid for Palestinians. See

​​On  Chef Jose Andres assertion that Israel’s IDF  targeted his aid workers on April 3, 'systematically, car by car' in Gaza, see

Why Das of the IR has said, “This is a shame on all of us.”

On President Biden recently authorizing more bombs for Israel, see

Seven Senators have urged Biden to stop arming Israel, citing violations of the Foreign Assistance Act that bars military aid from going to any country that blocks humanitarian aid.  It was the latest bid by Democrats to intensify pressure on Mr. Biden to demand that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu change his tactics and mitigate the suffering of Palestinians as the offensive in Gaza drags into its fifth month. The senators urged Biden to make it clear to the Netanyahu government that failure to immediately and dramatically expand humanitarian access and facilitate safe aid deliveries throughout Gaza will lead to serious consequences under existing U.S. law,” [not  to mention international humanitarian laws violated by the IDF]. Senator Sanders said it was clear that Mr. Netanyahu’s actions were in breach of the terms of American military aid as set out in the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act, which is part of the foreign assistance law. The act says that as soon as the president is made aware that a country is blocking or restricting the delivery of American humanitarian assistance, no U.S. military aid can be provided. “That’s exactly what Israel is doing; they are preventing U.S. humanitarian assistance from getting to the people of Gaza. They are in violation of the law, and therefore financial aid should be suspended. Last month, the Senate approved an emergency national security aid bill that would send an additional $14.1 billion in military aid to Israel, including $10 billion for offensive weapons for the war against Hamas. “Israel has the right to defend itself,” Mr. Sanders said, “but Israel does not have — in any way, shape or form — the right to go to war against the entire Palestinian people.”  But as the United States finds itself as both the source of offensive weaponry and the provider of relief for those on the receiving end of attacks from those weapons, Biden has failed to circumvent the obstacles preventing assistance from reaching the Palestinian people. See

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer criticized Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and called for new elections in Israel in a speech on the Senate floor on March 14, 2024.  See

On the conflict between Netanyahu’s militant Zionism and international humanitarian law and democratic ideals, see Musings on Why Criticism of Netanyahu’s Militant Zionism is not Antisemitic at

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