If self-government means getting involved ourselves that definitely includes voting. Voting though, while necessary, is not sufficient. The idea of "democracy" is that the people are in charge of government, not the other way around. To be in charge of the government we need to know the details.
Many people seem to follow sports rather closely. I am afraid I'm not one of them. They know how certain pitchers do against left-handers; or batting statistics for the players on both teams; or who will be the best draft pick next season, or what surgery was performed on what player, and when. They have opinions, and can evaluate the choices made each game on the playing field. And they care.
And many people seem to follow the financial markets and business in the same way. They know what stocks have done in particular categories, and what companies have done with respect to stock options, and so on.
It seems that many people follow celebrities, too. Who got drunk with whom, tore up what hotel room where, and ... etc.
With respect to our governmental institutions, if we are simply electing the people who hire the people who run our lives, then we are not really in charge of government. If we aren't paying attention to the details, it's no wonder that we are not satisfied with the results.
Those who have a major financial stake in governmental decisions are definitely paying attention to the details (and I do mean the corporations whose contributions to the political campaign process have now been insulated from regulation by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision). How nice for them; they can deduct a lot of their involvement in the political and governmental process as a business expense!
That's terrific (so many don't). But let's not get too self-congratulatory. We're being outplayed here!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
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