Dinesh Ayyappan2 Comments

America: The experiment in Democracy

Dinesh Ayyappan2 Comments
Because that's what it is, isn't it? An experiment.

Philosophers have been thinking for thousands of years about how to best run a country. A few hundred years ago, America's founding fathers read all of those philosphers' books and essays, gathered in Boston, and whipped out our Constitution. In gray areas like this, there are rarely correct answers, but there are ones that are well-justified, and ones that are not, and the law of our land is the best they could come up with.

So this raises a bunch of questions and very few answers in what feels like a very directionless post.

Is it working well? They made the constitution with no idea what technology would bring, and whether their system would do well to treat these inventions. They had no idea the country would get so big or diverse. Did they build that in too? If our wisest politicians and philosophers got together today, would their solution be similar to what exists?

You may have a gut feeling here, but try to flush it out. How are you measuring its success?
Distribution of wealth? Happiness? Education? GDP? Military presence? Adaptability?

If it's not working well, then what is our duty as Americans? Fix it? Or leave to someplace that's doing better by our measure of national success? Having just earned American citizenship 4 years ago, I'm not exactly eager to become an expat.

Especially in a democracy, there is this difficult question: Is there an ideal direction for the country, or is that direction defined as whatever its citizens want at any given moment?

As Churchill warns us, "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." That's one of my deeper motivations to become a teacher. I want to raise the bar of the average voter. I think that's the only way this whole experiment will work.