Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Democracy Means Little Without Discussion

 Democracy is nothing without discussion. If we do not first discuss public issues, what benefit does democracy offer? Decisions are meaningless, or of little value, if they come without thought. A vote without study, a vote without having weighed the issues, benefits us little. If you study a candidate, and where he or she stands on the issues, that is good. Study also the issues, themselves.
   Did I tell you about the president who also believed this? It is a completely fictitious story, I admit, but you might want to listen, the same, to his inaugural address. Read on, and tell me if this wouldn't be the best president we've ever had.
   "My fellow Americans. Today, as I come before you, I would like to use that term with more meaning than you are accustomed to. I would like to extend to you a hand a friendship, and partnership, and of working together with you like no one has ever offered you. You are my fellow Americans. You are my equals. And, we shall move this nation forward together, or not at all.
   "Here's is what I am proposing. It truly amounts to a different way of going about governance. We have a lot of issues -- health care, the national debt, climate change, and many others. What I would like to do is have a national discussion on each issue. I really don't plan to take much action on any of them for six month or so. And, when we do take action on an issue -- and I realize that means Congress -- it should only be after we have weighed that issue enough that we have some answers. What I will do, is take from the things you say, and make proposals to Congress. They must pass the legislation, but we, as a people, can come up with the ideas. I am a believer in this new way of going about governance. It is not a new system of government, but it is a new way of practicing it.
   "So, we will discuss things. I'm going to call for your arguments, your proposals, your ideas to all be placed in the public forum. We will have town halls all across the nation. And, perhaps we will use Facebook. How would you solve our health care crisis?  Tell us at the town hall and post it on our Internet discussion site. When we have a large body of advice, I will weigh what you have said. I will pick from among the ideas those that I like and I will select proposals that will work. Then, I will invite you to Washington, where you and I can discuss the proposals. And, we will discuss the issue some more, and debate it -- in public -- before we make a final decision on what to do.
   "We will go about solving our nation's problems this way. We will go about fixing our needs. We will solve what issues we can, and move on. Bless you all, my fellow Americans, and God bless."

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