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Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism

            In "Democracy Matters: Winning The Fight Against Imperialism", Cornell West makes a compelling argument as to how the American political system has lost its integrity and individualism in an effort to promote its open market and driven economy. Cornell West effectively argues that the Constantinian Christian movement as being a largely unnoticed factor behind the political and religious decisions influencing America's political direction. Cornel West refers to Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American intellectual whom traveled around the nation. Emerson, an American democratic literary intellectual took on a philosophy of the street. "He asks not for the great, but for the common" (p. 70). Emerson highlighted "the need for democratic individuals to be nonconformist, courageous and true to themselves" (p. 68) "He knew that mission required questioning prevailing dogmas as well as our own individual beliefs and biases" (p. 68). Emerson's view on democracy was one of individuality and staying true to oneself, while applying a democratic framework for a higher functioning society. Both Cornell West and Emerson want the people to hold onto their individual truth.
             Emerson questions religious dogma and fought against imperialism. Integrity and the common good were all issues of importance in Emerson's speeches. "Because they are able to buy cars and take the vacations they want, they're all too willing to either disregard the political and social dysfunctions afflicting the country or accept facile explanations for them" (p. 65). Religious dogma has become intertwined in our nation's political system. Emerson argues that important moral rights are missing from the politicians of his day. He goes on to say nonconformists are true to themselves. Being flexible and fluid in your beliefs are important for spirituality and religion "character and integrity are what politicians used to ask for"(p.

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