We live in a world where the courage of conviction has gone missing in action. Today misinformed public opinion holds more sway than professional advice.
To make things worse, western bureaucrats have adopted the soviet belief that knowledge is power. The Snowden leaks exposed that “top secret” classification sometimes has more to do with an author’s sense of self-importance than the responsibility to permit voters to make informed decisions.
The government agencies fail to inform the American public.
To make it worse, America has been at war with itself for the last 170 years. It’s a big surprise to any new visitor to the country. The visceral hatred between the former slave states and those that prevailed in the civil war appears undiminished.
The incredible intellect and integrity of America’s founding fathers is what made America great. Washington, Franklin, Madison, Jefferson and Hamilton created the foundation. Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt continued that tradition of leadership with integrity. With the exception of Barack Obama, today’s American leaders disgrace that legacy.
The brilliance of the founding fathers was born in a time when having an opinion was the result of deep thought, and caring. Opinionation is an expectation of democracy. Debating politics (or religion) is not the start of a conflict – it is the openness to exchange views, and to understand thinking that differs from our own. The founding fathers did not always agree. Often they argued vehemently, but usually to the point of agreement, with imaginative solutions, rather than compromise.
An open mind is not an empty mind.
Democracy places a huge intellectual responsibility on ordinary people. A thoughtless member of a democracy is a delinquent member of a democracy.
Anti-intellectualism has been one of the regular features of populism, but in this respect populism is an offense against the people….Anti-intellectualism is always pseudo-democratic. In enshrining prejudices and dogmas, it robs the citizen of his exacting and proper role.
Democracy’s strength is the will of the people – when they are talking to each other.
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