How Democracy Will Die

* Now that the 2024 Presidential election cycle is in full swing, I think it is important that I repeat a portion of Post #30.

* The following remarks were made by retired Supreme Court Justice David Souter during a 2012  interview. “…I think some of the aspects of current American government that the people on both sides find frustrating are in part a function of the inability of people to understand how government can and should function. It is a product of civic ignorance. What I worry about is a remark that Benjamin Franklin made about how an ignorant people can never remain a free people. Democracy cannot survive too much ignorance…Franklin was asked by someone, I think on the streets of Philadelphia shortly after the 1787 Convention adjourned, what kind of government would the Constitution give us if it was adopted? Franklin’s famous answer was, ‘ A republic if you can keep it. You cannot keep it in ignorance!’

” I don’t worry about our losing republican government in the United States because I’m afraid of a foreign invasion. I don’t worry about it because I think there is going to be a coup by the military, as has happened is some places. What I am worried about is that when problems are not addressed, people will not know who is responsible. And when the problems get bad enough as they might do-for example with another financial meltdown or serious terror attack- some one person will come forward and say, ‘ Give me total power, and I will solve this problem.’ That is how the Roman Republic fell. Augustus became emperor because he promised that he would solve problems that were not being solved. If we know who is responsible, I have enough faith in the American people to demand performances from those responsible. If we don’t know, we will stay away from the polls, we will not demand it, and the day will come when somebody will come forward, and we and the government will in effect say, take the ball and run with it. Do what you have to do. That is the way democracy dies. And if something is not done to improve the level of civic knowledge, that is what you should worry about at night.”



* Which supports and barriers were in play?

* What were the dynamics?

* Who, or what, won the Tug-of-War?

* Discuss the outcome with your friends and family.

* Use Post #4 as a reference for the dynamics and relationships between supports and barriers.