If American Democracy fails it is all your fault
A recent question on social media was posed, "Why is American democracy so deeply flawed?"
It is one of those questions that deserves a quick comeback like, "Why are you so stupid?" I could think of a few more one line responses to this question, but in an effort of being nice, and respectful, I took the time to explain why this question is flawed. If you have read this blog, the Tao of Questy, this post contains themes we rant about often. In this era of post election crying, they are important themes worth repeating.
One of the remarks to the question stated, "Although American citizens have an opportunity to engage in free speech, they choose to spend their time on frivolous activities." So how does reflect as a flaw of democracy? Yes, that is exactly why democracy does not work, because people do not take the time, do not invest the effort to make it work.
From studying history in school I remember names and dates on a timeline. History is more than just memorizing a date. Throughout my life I have visited many historic sites with my family to learn more about the events associated with the famous names and dates.
What do we celebrate on the 4th of July?
What often gets lost in the celebration of the Independence Day holiday is that the battle for Independence was much more that a one day event.
Congress had voted on July 2, 1776 to declare independence from Great Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. It would not be until the Battle of Yorktown in 1781 that it appeared the states would actually gain independence as a free nation under the Articles of Confederation of 1781. The states wound not truly be united until The United States Constitution was ratified in 1788.
What does the Star-Spangled Banner celebrate?
In recent weeks people have been protesting Star-Spangled Banner.
If I asked 10 people the significance of September 14th, 1814, I would be surprised if more than one person could answer correctly. That would be the victory in the second war of independence.
What is our commitment to democracy?
You may remember how the Declaration of Independence begins:
"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another..."
But do you remember how it ends?
"... with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
The Declaration of Independence is more than just a formal statement, it is a commitment to each other. It is that commitment we celebrate on Independence Day.
The founding fathers of the United States paid a high price to establish this society. They paid a high price for something we often take for granted, they paid a high price for our freedoms.
How many people even use the phrase Independence Day for the name of the holiday. I wish people all the people using the phrase 4th of July for just another excuse to drink and eat took some time to understand the reasons for celebrating Independence Day.
Simple answers don't solve complex problems
So many social issues that deserve attention. Why are there so many crazy people that want to kill their neighbor? Are we spending enough resources on mental health issues? Are people turning to social and political cults because they have some void in their life that needs filled? These questions deserve more than thirty second sound bites, 140 character answers, and cute cartoon memes.
Has the internet and television decreased our attention span to where all the answers need to be thirty seconds or less? I really wish all the problem in life were as simple as they seem to be on social media. They're not.
American democracy is not deeply flawed, it is "We the People" who are flawed. "We the People" in a collective sense, who do not take the time, who do not invest the effort to make it work.