Thursday, September 10, 2009

Restless Politics Syndrome

Alright, so I have some more observations about the process of democracy that don't particularly focus on Health Care. However, you can probably see where the entire debate fits in.

Today we were talking about the PASSION involved in American politics, how Americans seem to be very aggressive in fighting for their personal political views, and how this is different from what one would find in, say, European democracies. One would think that equality of ideals would lessen fighting, bring more agreement and order, but such is not always the case.

AS A REVIEW OF SORTS: I think that Americans feel they must push their views because American culture says that all views are inherently equal, or at least that all VOICES are equal. Well, if everyone's voice is equal, how can we hear any one voice above another? How can we choose a direction to follow if everyone's voice recieves the same attention? It becomes NECESSARY for one to fight to be heard, to strive to become the LOUDEST, most NOISOME voice possible in order to gain attention and sway opinions. I think that we see this a lot, and in the worst cases, parties (both) use fear tactics and yellow journalism/muck-raking to scream their views and grab as much attention as possible.

In Europe, a person would be more willing to sit back and let the aristocracy (or those "in the know") to speak for them. So is this American tendency to fight over politics GOOD or BAD?

I think that Tocqueville would say the American passion is both good and bad. On the positive side, it ensures that many people will be interested and involved in the political process, which is the very definition of democracy. On the negative side, there is an astounding amount of confusion and chaos possible when everyone is involved in politics. As for Health Care, it's a serious issue. Both parties are fighting to present their views to as many people as possible (in as many ways as possible) and many really are becoming involved. There are those who have rational views on BOTH sides of the debate, but there are also on both sides those who have views on the issue that are based on fear-mongering, ignorance, or passion.

Most important, I believe Tocqueville would tell us, is finding the balance between RATIONALITY and PASSION. It's a fine edge, certainly...but I think that the American system of democracy has found a way to, for the most part, walk that edge using the idea of EGALITARIANISM, though the solution itself surely has its own problems...After all, no system of government is perfect as long as humans are involved.

Until next time,

----Blind Prophet

(P.S., No outside resources this time...but the material I'm working with is found in our reading assignment for Tocqueville. So read (blame) the book!)

No comments: