Democracy is a term that represents a concept that the nation takes great and an almost all-consuming pride in. Yet it seems to be failing. I have come to this conclusion not in regards to the political institutions that remain more or less intact, but in terms of the electorate not being adequately equipped to make the kinds of decisions that ensure the continued vitality of the State.
In my estimation, a functioning democracy requires an educated and thoughtful population capable of reasoned judgment and intelligent choices regarding public policy. From this perspective, democracy cannot thrive within a nation when a significant proportion of its population is poorly educated and whose general state of mind is overwhelmed by fear, prejudice and unadulterated bigotry. That seems to be the current condition of our society in the second decade of the twenty-first century.
At this time, the nation is deeply polarized and the rift is substantial. Unfortunately, while these ideological differences consume a great deal of time, always a precious commodity, the ills that haunt the entire nation – poverty, hunger, unemployment, homelessness, a failing infrastructure and the foreboding prospects of climate change – continue on their disastrous courses essentially unabated.