Spinoza said "If men may become enslaved by their ignorance, uninformed freedom of choice may take the road to disaster".
The government of the USA is described as a Democratic Republic. What do those two words really mean? Well, as most of us, I have not dwelt on this question much since those civic classes in high school.
Democracy is the "rule" by the majority of adults governed and a Republic is when the titular head of state did not acquire his position by heredity. Very simple concepts to remember. I wonder, though, if we really examined these concepts against what the reality is, can we still hold fast to our political identity? I am sure these two concepts have been debated ad infinitum on many academic levels. To what degree can each concept be held before it looses its true meaning or essence?
A Democracy requires good stewardship by "adults". An adult is someone who is of a legal age. That requirement seems skimpy to me. I know many adults who have reached maturity and have never voted and could not care less who is in charge of our government. So maybe we need to be "informed" adults to be good stewards of Democracy. Unfortunately, it is in our nature to be comfortable and as such we are creatures of habit. We tend to congregate towards like-minded friends, associates and even our sources of news media. We love to have our beliefs reinforced. It's comfortable and sometimes even pleasurable. "Birds of a feather flock together." Consensus is the mind magnet that blinds us to reality. Why upset this comfortable zone we're in by listening to opposing viewpoints? Because it is our duty as informed thinking adults to be open to all possibilities. To be good stewards of Democracy we need to break out of our comfort zone and actually consider "other" ideas. It takes effort.
Are our votes shaped by informed unbiased ideas or are we being "herded" by our own comfortable consensus and just "going along" because all our friends are of one mind?
If we dwell only on our side of the idea fence, is this not a self-imposed enslavement to ignorance? Thank you Benedictus. Point taken.
Do we have a Democracy? Hmmm.
How about the word "Republic".
Do we qualify?
Saddam and Uday? That definitely was no Republic.
No way, not here, not that kind of "all in the family" politics.
Can it be that we have an identity crisis going on? It is starting to look more like a modified monarchy when we examine the actual reality.
First it was Bush #1 and now it's Bush #2. Bill first and now, possibly, Hillary?
What's going on here?
I can't imagine that out of a possible three hundred million, we have to settle for sons and wives of past presidents.
It's just not logical to me that these are the best qualified candidates for the job.
I like the term Modified Democratic Republic, it has a nice modern ring to it.