These days, especially among more closed-minded Americans, criticizing Democracy is like criticizing royalty or the church when those institutions held power.
Democracy, the mighty system which preserves our liberties and our American way of life! We have become so fond of it, indeed we spend billions trying to implement Democracy in countries which are not properly suited for it. We put special emphasis on the idea that it is everyone’s duty (and privilege) as a citizen, to vote.
The nature of my current employment brings me in contact with a lot of voters. I hear from them what they know, and what they think. Many of these voters I am in contact with will insist, that it is their Civic Duty to get out and vote in EVERY election. Very well, it’s important to vote. But then, they proceed to display an immense ignorance of candidates and issues. And isn’t it now the norm, to go into the local voting booth, clueless on local candidates? (and I will note, that this does not mean that they may have a contrary opinion about a candidate or issue – it means, they have none AT ALL)
How many people I have heard, insist that it is their duty to vote in every election, yet moments later tell me they know nothing about the candidates they voted for? It’s left out that staying informed is also an important civic duty but as we see, far more difficult.
It’s not like I don’t get it. There are many elected offices, candidates for them are many. Each candidate has a whole set of promises and stances which begin to run together. It’s hard to keep up with all the politics, and people just end up getting annoyed with all of it. Yet, if we are to have the responsibility to vote, we must also have the responsibility to be well informed on who we are voting for.
Example: This November, Oklahomans will mozy into the polls and vote for a governor. Most will vote for Fallin (‘oh, I guess she’s been doin’ a good job’) and some will vote for Dorman (‘He’s gonna be the governor for all Oklahomans’ – whatever that means) only because those are the big names which are discussed, the ones on T.V. and radio ads, etc., yet ignoring the fact that there are three other perfectly qualified Independent candidates in the race for the governorship.
If the main body of voters has neither the time nor inclination to properly research or inquire into candidates and their stances (beyond taking it from the donkey’s mouth) if people vote on name recognition instead of good, sound facts, then, what’s the point? Corrupt and unscrupulous politicians can easily slide past the non-discerning eye of the main body of voters (as they very well have) by putting out pretty mailers or plastering an area with yard signs.
What to take away from this? Without knowledge, Democracy is pointless. But that’s not all.
Other advocates of liberty, now and through history, have never been fond of Democracy. Korwin-Mikke in Europe has said it’s “stupid” saying that a bunch of drunkards has more pull than a professor. His solution? Replace the democracy in Poland with a monarchy. Even the great Voltaire thought democracy would just perpetrate the idiocy of the masses, and he favored an ‘enlightened’ monarch (in the style of Frederick the Great, before he started playing with his armies.)
All government is equally bad. But as for myself, I would rather have my freedom secured under a monarchy, than have my freedom subject to the will of the masses, uninformed as they tend to be.