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Democracy (a Political Issue)


In a democracy the nation or state is ruled by the eligible members of the nation or state. There are many different types of democracies. Most of these are variants of two main types of democracies. These two types are a Direct or Pure Democracy and a Representative Democracy. In a direct or Pure Democracy, the state’s citizens govern themselves directly. In a Representative Democracy, the state’s citizens retain ultimate power, but their representatives do some of most of the governing. Most democracies are a type of Representative Democracy.

Each of the various types of democracy has its advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the culture and people that live in some given state, one type of democracy may work better than another type. However, most types of democratic governments would protect and provide for most of their citizens better than would any type of authoritarian government.

For a democracy to work well and to succeed, most of its citizens who vote would need to be intelligent, knowledgeable and well informed about the relevant issues, and to care about the liberty, freedoms, rights and prosperity of their fellow citizens. This not only applies to the citizens but must especially apply to any representatives they might have.

A democracy can fail if too many of its citizens or representatives are not well informed, are misinformed, do not care about their fellow citizens or simply do not get involved in protecting their democracy. A democracy can also fail if its elected representatives do not represent the interests of all its citizens and instead only prioritizes their support for the liberty, freedoms, rights and prosperity of some or none of its citizens.

Pure Democracy

In a Pure Democracy, we would all have an equal and direct say in our government. Every one of us would be able to debate the issues, have our opinions heard and have our votes counted. However, for a Pure Democracy to work well most of its citizens would need to participate in the political process. On the other hand, we would not need to worry as much about the need to elect good representatives, since we would represent ourselves.

There are several variations of Pure Democracies. The following are a few of them.

  • In a Majoritarian Democracy, decisions are made by the majority, where minority opinions can often be ignored.
  • In a Consensus Democracy, decision making involves considering as wide a range of opinions as possible.
  • In a Deliberative Democracy, each decision is made by a smaller but representative sample of the population that is given the time and resources to deal with the given issue.

A variant of each type of Pure Democracy is a Constitutional Democracy. In this type of democracy, the government is both described and limited by a constitution. This constitution may describe the separation of powers, a system of accountability for elected officials, and the core principles of the government such as freedom of speech and press, and the legal framework for justice.

Although having a pure democracy seems like it would be a good and admirable goal, there are a few challenges in implementing, managing and keeping one.

First off, the more individuals who participate in a Pure Democracy, the less of a voice each of us has. It is simple math. If we give each of 12 individuals 5 minutes to talk, then that would just take an hour. If the number of individuals grows to 120, then we need 10 hours. If the number of individuals grows to 120 million, then we need 10 million hours.

Then, there is the time it takes us to learn about and to analyze each issue, and then to form an opinion about each one. For simple issues, this may only take us an hour or so. However, complex issues may take us much longer. In fact, some issues may require us to be an expert on one or more subjects to be able to come to an informed opinion. For us to become an expert with the needed background knowledge, it may require years of education in subjects like law, medicine, finance or engineering.

Given the size and complexity of our country in the modern world, we can see that most types of a Pure Democracy would not work well except maybe in some small local communities. However, a Deliberative Democracy might work, since it would only need a small sample of the population instead of everyone. That is, if we can find the individuals who have the right knowledge and will represent the interests of everyone, then it should work.

Representative Democracy

With large populations, the answer has been to go to a type of Representative Democracy. There we would elect representatives who, in theory, will pass on our opinions to the other representatives, and for all those representatives to debate the issues and to make good decisions for us. A Representative Democracy would still need to be based on a type of Pure Democracy. Without that, it would not really be a democracy.

If a Representative Democracy works as it is intended to work, we can still make our opinions known within our community and with our representatives, and our representatives will listen to and act on our opinions. For the simpler issues, we could do our own research and analysis to form our opinions. For more complex issues, we may need to rely on our representatives or some experts to do the research and analysis, and to form an opinion. Then our representatives or the experts can explain and discuss with us their opinion, which we could then accept or reject.

There are several variations of Representative Democracies. The following are a few of them.

  • In a Liberal Democracy, the liberty and property of individuals is protected by the rule of law.
  • In a Illiberal Democracy, there are only weak or no limits on the elected officials to rule as they please.
  • In a Presidential Democracy, the head of government is also the head of state and leads an executive branch that is separate from the legislative branch.
  • In a Parliamentary Democracy, the executive branch is typically a cabinet, and the government is headed by a prime minister.
  • In a Organic or Authoritarian Democracy, the ruler holds a lot of power, but he or she works to benefit the citizenry.
  • In a Non-partisan Democracy, elections take place without any reference to political parties.
  • In a Demarchy, representatives are randomly selected from the citizenry as general governmental representatives or to make decisions in specific areas of governance.

For a Representative Democracy to work, our representatives must honestly represent all our interests. They must listen to our opinions, or learn about and analyze the issues, and then form opinions that promote the best interests of all of us. They should not just use their own opinions or just the opinions of some minority of their constituents or the opinions of individuals or groups who are not their constituents and who are not honest experts on the issues.

One big problem with Representative Democracies is that our representatives are rarely elected by all their constituents. Sometimes, they may need to be elected by a majority of the voters, but more often they only need to get a plurality of the votes (that is, more votes than the other candidates, but what could also be far less than half). Therefore, our representatives may only listen to enough individuals and groups to get elected. The challenge is to figure out how we can get our representatives to listen to all their constituents. I will talk more about this issue and other issues we have with our representatives shortly.

Our Republic

In the United States, our form of government is defined as a Republic. A Republic is a democracy that uses representatives. In general, we have a Representative Democracy. In addition, our democracy has elements of a Majoritarian Democracy, a Constitutional Democracy, a Presidential Democracy and a Liberal Democracy. However, it looks like our current Republic is falling short of its democratic ideals. Problems include the low quality of our representatives and the fact that our Republic has also taken on elements of Authoritarianism.

Part of the problem comes from the quality of the individuals we elect to represent us. In a democracy, we need to elect individuals who will represent all our interests and do what is best for all of us. However, that is not always what we are getting. Too often, we elect politicians who are doing just about anything to get elected or to gain power. They are even lying to us and trying to manipulate us instead of representing our best interests. What we really need are statesmen and stateswomen who will do everything they can for the common good of all the individuals they represent.

Another part of the problem is that some individuals and groups have gained an outsized say in our current governments. On the one hand, the rich and the powerful have the money and power to buy or to control who is elected. On the other hand, we are seeing a troubling trend towards extremists and authoritarians gaining control. In fact, our republic may have already become an Oligarchy, which is a type of authoritarian government where power is concentrated in a small group of individuals.

One of the main reasons that the rich and the powerful, and the extremists are taking control of our governments is our current two-party political system. The members of each of the two dominant political parties, like those of most political parties, are individuals who have more extreme views than most individuals, and they want to impose their views on everyone. Although each party only represents a minority of us, they still try to impose their views on all of us. With the help of the money that they get from the richer members of our society, the two dominant political parties have gained too much power.

We need to find ways to ensure that all of us can be heard and can have our votes counted. To do that, we must reduce the influence of money and extremists, and eliminate the other problems created by our two-party political system. I will talk more about this in the upcoming section on Political Parties. In the meantime, there are many other things that are also threatening our democracy. I will talk about some of them later in this section, but first let’s look at a short history of democracy.


In ancient times, we lived in small independent tribal groups. Our group’s government might have consisted of a tribal leader, a group of elders or our entire tribe. If our entire tribe had a say, then it may have been one of our first democracies. Even if our tribal group was not really a democracy, most of our tribal members would still have had some say in how things were done, since we would have had direct access to those in power.

Although our early tribal life was difficult, it was probably not very complex. We probably had very few laws relative to what we have today. Those laws would have helped to protect our tribal members from outside dangers and from each other, and to define some of our duties and responsibilities within our tribe. Most of those laws were probably passed down from generation to generation and did not change much.

Most members of our tribe probably knew what they had to do and did it, so there would have been few decisions that our government would have really needed to make daily. When decisions were needed, they usually concerned simple local matters or disputes. Most of us would have known or could easily have learned about the facts related to an issue, and we probably could have easily come up with an informed opinion on the matter.

In our small tribal groups, survival depended on most of us being informed and involved. Fortunately, in our small tribal groups, this was easy to do. We all would have known everyone else and known about most, if not all, of the issues and we could easily learn about the facts involved in the issues.

The first evidence of democracies in recorded history was in the Sumerian City States. Although they did not last long before becoming monarchies. Sometime before the sixth century BC, democracies were introduced in some ancient Indian republics. Some of these democratic forms of government can still be found in some Indian villages today.

The first recorded existence of a true democracy was in the ancient Greek city state of Athens in the fifth century BC. Although voting rights were limited to only certain male citizens. They did elect some government officials, but all decisions still had to be made by a majority of the voters. At one time or another, many other Greek cities had some form of a democratic government, but information is scarce on how they worked.

Traditionally, we date the founding of the Roman Republic to 506 BC. This republic had some of the features of a representative government. The Roman Senate was an assembly of leading citizens, who elected a pair of Consults to wield executed power for one year. After many years of conflict with the rest of the population, other citizens were given the right to elect their own representatives and to hold major offices in the state. This republic lasted until the establishment of the Roman Empire in 27 BC.

In the following centuries, many of the procedures and institutions that we now use in our democracies were created in non-democratic governments. Various assemblies of the citizens or their representatives were established. They would approve, or at least accept, new leaders, or consult on changes in the laws.

Then after centuries with the concentration of power in the hands of the church, humanist philosophers looked for secular principles on which society could be organized. (Note: Humanists believe in the prime importance of human rather than divine or supernatural matters.) They looked to the ancient Greek concept of democracy, and to a limited extent, they tried to implement it in practice.

Among other thing, the work of the humanist philosophers led to the Polish commonwealth, the Magna Carta, an elected parliament and Bill of Rights in England, the Pennsylvania commonwealth, and the American Revolution. These all led to our democracy here in the United States, and then to many other democracies.


Today, different types of democracy have spread to many places around the world. These democracies have helped to make our world a much better place than it would have been without them. They have given us much more say in our governments and more liberty and freedom.

However, our world has gotten much more complicated. Not only are there more issues, but most issues are far more complex. Therefore, we need to know, to learn and to process many more facts and much more information to come up with knowledgeable and well-informed opinions about these issues. Therefore, it has become much harder for us to be as well informed about the issues as we need to be to preserve our democracies.

In addition, there are now more individuals and groups trying to misinform us about many issues so that they can manipulate us into having an opinion different than what we would have had with better information. Therefore, we need to be more aware of where our facts and information are coming from to help us determine what is true. See the previous section on Knowledge for more information on how we can protect ourselves from misinformation and how we can become better informed.

It is also harder to be involved in what is going on in our governments. First, we are all busy with our jobs, families, and the hobbies, technology and other things that now distract us. Then, there are now many more levels of government. For instance, we each may have a local town or city, county, state and federal government. Then, as we move up the list to larger governments, our voice becomes less and less as more individuals are being represented. In addition, our voices are often being drowned out by the individuals and special interest groups that are supported by all the money coming from rich donors.

We also now have hundreds or even thousands of bills introduced at the national, state and local levels every year. Various government agencies are also constantly issuing new regulations. Just to be able to read all these bills and regulations, someone might need to devote all their time and energy on a full-time basis. This makes it very difficult for most of us to keep up to date on what is happening.

Given the often complex and technical nature of these bills and regulations, we would also need to have advanced degrees in law, politics, economics, medicine, engineering, science, and many other subjects to truly understand them all. Obviously, this would probably be too much for even the most intelligent and educated among us. Therefore, it is also very unlikely that many, if any, of our representatives would be able to read and to understand them all in more than a cursory way.

In many elections, propositions are also placed on the ballot where we can all vote directly for or against them. In many cases, these propositions are not worded clearly or deal with complex financial issues dealing with things such as bonds or levies. Although there are many of us who will read and try to understand these propositions, most of us will only hear about them via the sound bites that come from special interest groups.

These sound bites are generally designed to sway public opinion in favor of their position rather than to inform. They will prey upon our fears or hopes by playing up just the best or worst aspect of a proposition, or in some cases by purposely misrepresenting what the proposition will do. Often, it is the individuals and groups on the side that spent the most money that gets their message out and sways the outcome of the vote.

As we can see, our world has become far too complex for most of us to get involved in our government in more than just a cursory way. Our only hope is that our representatives will be able to understand and to deal with these complexities and will make sure that our laws and regulations work to the benefit of all of us.

However, a lot of our representatives’ time is taken up with learning about and dealing with getting elected and reelected, which would include such things as campaigning, fundraising and schmoozing. This can leave them with a lot less time to do the actual work that they were elected to do, including talking to us, their constituents. Therefore, it is also difficult, if not impossible, for any of our representatives to know enough about all the legislative matters that they must deal with to do an effective job.

One of the reasons that our representatives and candidates for office spend so much time fundraising is that money can buy more ad time, which usually leads to more votes. Therefore, candidates will spend more time with their big donors, even ones who may not reside in their districts, than with their constituents. This can also lead to those big donors gaining undue influence over our representatives.

Another issue is that more and more of our representatives have extreme views that are not aligned with their constituents' views. The problem rests with our political parties, our primaries and our election rules, which often favor the more extreme candidates.


There are several things that we can do to make our democracy work better for all of us. Part of the answer comes from our being better educated when it comes to our political system and our issues. Another part comes from adjusting the type of democracy that we use so that our ideas and options are better represented. We also need to update our electoral process to make sure we elect representatives who better represent all of us.

First, we want to prevent individuals and groups who give big campaign donations from gaining undue influence over our representatives. We want to do this when the donors are constituents, but especially when they are not constituents. We want to give all voters and all candidates an equal opportunity to get to know each other. The way to do this is to have voters take back control of the campaign process. Therefore, we would ban campaign donations and have the government pay for all campaigning equally. We would also give all candidates an equal opportunity to speak to and with the voters, and to debate the issues.

Then we need to ensure our representatives will represent all their constituents. We would have open primaries where all of us would have a choice in which candidates run instead of letting just the members of the political parties choose them. In fact, we should become a Non-partisan Democracy. We also want to require that our representatives win with a majority of the votes, which we can do by using some form of ranked choice voting.

Even if we can ensure a good clean election, we still need to ensure that our elected representatives will listen to and consider the opinions of all their constituents and that they will work in the best interest of their constituents. We would do this via the proper amount of oversight. First, we would require our representative to keep us informed about everything via a combination of posting to a web site and hosting numerous town hall style meetings. Then, we also want to be able to override our representatives' votes, and to recall those representatives who do not do their job.

Another thing that needs to be done is to expand the role of the experts who can assist with the creation of the bills and regulations for which they have the appropriate knowledge (facts, information and skills). It is true that many of our representatives come from legal, medical, engineering and other professions, so they may have the needed understanding in their areas of expertise, but they are not experts in all areas. The best thing for our representatives to do is to solicit and to evaluate advice from the appropriate experts, who should be independent and not part of some special interest group.

These experts might work for the government on a full time or on a part time contract basis, but they would need to be free from partisan politics and conflicts of interest and would need to be able to look objectively at all sides of a problem or issue. They should also be able to submit problems or proposed legislative solutions through our representatives for consideration.

If needed, a group of appropriately skilled experts could be formed to work on finding a solution to some issue. This is like what would be done in a Deliberative Democracy. This group would be responsible for analyzing the issue, coming up with some solutions, providing a clear description of the issue and the possible solutions and consequences, and writing or helping to write the needed bill or regulation. In some cases, this is already being done, but should be expanded. I have a few ideas about how this could work, which I will address later.

Another thing that needs to be done is to reduce the number and complexity of our bills and regulations. To accomplish this, we need to create laws and regulations that keep things simple and flexible enough that they do not need to be repeatedly changed. For instance, streamlining our tax codes would go a long way towards this goal. Again, I have a few ideas about what we can do, which I will address later, mainly in the section on Economics.

Misinformation and Lies

One of the biggest threats to our democracy today is all the misinformation and lies that are being spread. For our democracy to work, we need to be knowledgeable and well informed. When we are knowledgeable and well informed, we will vote for those things that will make things better for us, and for the representatives who will do the same. When we are misinformed or lied to, we may vote for things that could make things worse, and for representatives who may work against our interests.

Unfortunately, there are just too many individuals who are greedy for money or power and are willing to say and to do just about anything to get what they want. These individuals may spread misinformation or lies, may make threats, may use logical fallacies, or may say or do other things to manipulate us.

It is especially problematic when we do not recognize their misinformation and lies. At least when we are aware that we are being misinformed and lied to, we can try to find better sources of information and to take other steps to learn the truth and to stay better informed. The key is to pay attention to what we are being told and to recognize when we are being told misinformation and lies.

When our elected representatives or candidates for office misinform or lie to us that is an even bigger problem. We need to be able to trust them to protect our interests. When they are misinforming and lying to us, they are trying to manipulate us. Therefore, they are not protecting our interests and we cannot trust them to run our government.

Although we need to try to eliminate all sources of misinformation and lies, we need to apply special attention to eliminating them in our government. That is, we need to keep individuals who spread misinformation and lies out of our government, and if they do get in, then we need to get them out as soon as possible.

I have already talked a lot about this problem with misinformation and lies and what to do about it in a previous section on Knowledge. Since this is such an important topic, I will talk some more about this in later sections.

Withheld Information

Along with individuals and groups trying to manipulate us with misinformation and lies, they can also try to manipulate us by withholding information. When we lack some needed information, we are left to fill in the gaps based on what information we do have. The individuals and groups who are trying to manipulate us are hoping that we fill in those information gaps with things that will be more beneficial to them than the actual information, or the misinformation and lies they might otherwise need to give us.

Let’s look at an obvious case. When we drive on our roads, we generally expect them to be in at least fair condition. That is, they are good enough that we can get to where we are going. If there are traffic problems that may slow us down, then we would like to learn about them. We would especially like to be told when a bridge is out. If there are no announcements or signs, then we could be delayed or maybe something worse, like we could drive off the end of the bridge.

We also have the case where members of a political party like to tell us that the policies of an opposing political party are bad for our economy, for our country or for us. However, they rarely tell us which policies they think are bad or what their alternative policies would be. They hope that each of us dislikes at least one policy of the opposing political party, and that we will assume that that is the policy they are saying is bad.

If these individuals did name an actual policy that they thought was bad, then they might be naming a policy that a lot of us liked. This could alienate those of us who liked that policy. To overcome this, they would then need to explain why they thought the policy was bad, which we might not agree with. In addition, they may be forced to offer their alternative policy, which they might then need to defend, and which we might not like. Therefore, they resort to withholding information.

When our representatives and others will not provide us with some needed information or do not provide detailed information for their vague statements, we must assume that they are trying to manipulate us. We must then insist on the needed information and make it clear that we cannot support them without it. Of course, if they do provide some information, we still need to guard against them providing misinformation and lies.

Distraction and Misdirection

In some cases, our representatives and others cannot get away with withholding information or giving us misinformation and lies. In these cases, they may resort to distraction or misdirection. When they can distract or misdirect us, they can guide any discussions to the issues that they think will better benefit them instead of the issues that might hurt them.

For instance, one of our representatives may not have a solution to some problem, or at least not one that would be popular with most of us. Therefore, our representative may try to distract us or misdirect our attention to some other issue, even if this other issue is far less urgent than others or is not really a problem. In some cases, individuals and groups are also using these other issues to misinform us so that can achieve other goals besides just distracting us and misdirecting our attention.

When our representatives are trying to distract us or misdirect our attention, that is a sign that they do not have solutions to our real problems. We must then insist that they deal with them. If they cannot or will not deal with them, then it is time to find representatives who can and will deal with them.

Issues involving culture wars, conspiracy theories and parental rights are all currently being used by some of our representatives to distract us and to misdirect our attention from other issues. Understanding these issues can help us see through the manipulation that some individuals and groups are trying to use on us.

Culture Wars

A culture war is a cultural conflict between social groups and the struggle for dominance of their values, beliefs, and practices over those of others. Culture wars are being used by some individuals and groups to try to divide us into different camps where one side tries to claim that its "culture" is better than all the others. These individuals and groups will also try to force their "culture" on everyone else. These culture wars have become a particularly troubling form of misinformation, distraction and misdirection that has become all too common in politics today.

First off, in a free society, if we do not do any undue harm, then we should all have the right to live our lives as we choose. We all should have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Forcing us to live our lives in some certain way would take away our rights and is therefore patently undemocratic and contrary to our constitution. This all leads me to the revelation that even starting a culture war is a reprehensible act.

What is worse is the fact that many of our culture wars are based on misinformation and outright lies. Often, one group will claim that another group is trying to impose their beliefs on them and therefore the first group needs to stop them by imposing their beliefs on this other group. There are many examples of the misinformation being used in these culture wars. The following are a couple of examples of them.

Critical Race Theory

Critical Race Theory is an academic concept that comes from some legal analysis done in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The core idea is that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice but is also something that has been embedded in some parts of our legal systems and policies.

We can only really find the teaching of Critical Race Theory as an optional class at some law schools. The idea is that if lawyers understand where these biases and prejudices exist in our legal systems and policies, then they can help to eliminate them.

However, some individuals and groups are now making misleading claims and even lying about what Critical Race Theory is, where it is taught and what its effects are. The fact is, it is not a theory that says all white people are racist, it is not taught in grade schools, and it does not lead children to think they are racist and then make them feel guilty about it.

It seems like individuals and groups making these false claims about Critical Race Theory have a couple of goals in mind. In one case, they are trying to get us angry about the issue and therefore to vote for the individuals who are railing against it. In the other case, they are passing laws to ban it in grade schools, even though it would never be taught there anyway, and in doing so they can distract us from the real issues and can ban the teaching of things like slavery and racism.


To be Woke is to be alert to injustice in society, especially racism, and racial prejudice and discrimination. The phrase "stay woke" emerged by the 1930s referring to an awareness of the social and political issues affecting African Americans. In the 2010s, the term “Woke” came to encompass a broader awareness of social inequities such as sexism, and in ideas involving identity politics and social justice.

However, some individuals and groups have started to use the term “Woke” in an ironic way as an insult against various progressive or leftist movements and ideologies perceived as overzealous, performative or insincere. It seems that these individuals and groups are trying to co-opt and to redefine this term so that they can use it against the individuals and groups who are trying to stop the injustices. They seem to want us to remain asleep, so that they can continue these injustices.

Conspiracy Theories

A conspiracy theory is a belief that some covert, sinister and powerful group or organization is responsible for an event, situation or circumstance. These conspiracy theories usually originate with some anonymous source, without evidence and when other explanations are more probable.

In some cases, conspiracy theories derive from some combination of our predictive bias and our confirmation bias and could therefore arise from an honest misinterpretation of the facts. However, a conspiracy theory is often politically motivated, like when some in one political party makes one up about members of another political party. In addition, sometimes they are simply motivated by greed, like when some individuals or groups make up conspiracy theories about some vaccines, medicines or medical procedures so they can sell their alternative products.

The individuals and groups who spread conspiracy theories will use many different forms of manipulation and many different logical fallacies. A conspiracy theory may be the first thing that we hear, it is repeated over and over again, and it is usually designed to evoke some strong emotions. In addition, the arguments for it include fallacies like Slippery Slope, Begging the Question, Post Hoc, Ad Hominem, False Dilemma, Appeal to Pity, Appeal to Ignorance, and Hasty Generalization.

Conspiracy theories are often reinforced with circular logic where evidence against the conspiracy and an absence of evidence for it are both interpreted by true believers as evidence for it. The true believers will also often claim that the individuals and groups who try to dispel a conspiracy theory are part of the conspiracy and will then use that as further proof of the conspiracy.

In recent years, the spread of conspiracy theories has increased with the growth of mass media, the internet and social media. The damage they are doing to our society, to our world and to each of us has also grown. Conspiracy theories have inspired terrorist attacks, started wars, encouraged individuals to avoid vaccinations and other lifesaving medical treatments, been used by authoritarian governments to subjugate their subjects, have reduced trust in science, our government and our elections, and have done much more harm.

Like with all forms of misinformation and lies, the best way to combat conspiracy theories is through education. When we learn to recognize how others are trying to manipulate us, and how to get reliable information, then we will be able to see these conspiracy theories for what they are, and therefore be more inclined to believe in the truth.

Parental Rights

Some individuals and groups believe that schools are exposing our children to harmful subjects or are indoctrinating our children in some undesirable ideology. Therefore, they are trying to ban those books, courses, subjects and other things that they say are harmful or undesirable in our schools. They say that they are doing this in the name of Parental Rights. That is, they say that parents should have the right to decide what their children are taught in school, and they are implying that parents do not want these things in their schools.

However, not all parents agree that these things are harmful or undesirable. In fact, some parents may believe that knowledge of some or all these things is beneficial or desirable for the future of their children. Therefore, it seems that these individuals and groups are not trying to ban these things in support of Parental Rights but are doing so to impose their ideology on their and others’ children.

Although parents should have some rights when it comes to what their children are taught in school, others also have a vested interest in what our children are taught and therefore should have a right to have a say in what is taught. These others who also have rights include, but are not limited to, the educators, the students, and our society.

Educators have studied education and are better qualified than most parents to know what students need to learn and how best to teach them. Students need to learn all the things that will give them the knowledge (facts, information and skills) that will give them the best chance to succeed in their lives. Society needs citizens who are knowledgeable and well informed so that they can best protect our democracy and can best help themselves and our civilization to prosper.

What we need is a balance between each of these individuals’ rights. We do not want to be dictated to by whoever may have the loudest voice or biggest political backing. In an ideal world, we would be able to come up with a custom curriculum for each student that would be acceptable to everyone involved. However, we do not and may never live in an ideal world. Therefore, we will need to agree to compromise.

One idea would be to have educators come up with different versions of each class. Each version of a class would include or exclude certain things based on what different parents and their children would find necessary or objectional. That would mean that each version of a class might need a different textbook. Of course, each version of a class would still need to meet some minimum standards that work for the educators and society. Parents and their children could then customize their class schedules by selecting the version of each class that best aligns with what they want.

The above would make it more complicated and expensive for the school. In addition, it would only be manageable in those cases where there would be a limited number of versions of each class, and there would be enough students for each version of the class. Otherwise, this could get to be too expensive.

If parents truly believe that the public school does not offer the right versions of each class for their children, then those parents would have the right to look for a private school that does have the right versions of each class. However, the private school would need to meet the necessary minimum standards for the parents to be eligible for a voucher. Otherwise, the parents would need to pay all the costs for the private school.

Books should not be banned, but parents could be allowed to limit what their children would have access to. The idea would be to segregate the books that parents do not what their children to read in a limited access section. If no one objects to a given book, then that book would be available to everyone in a general access section.

Students who had no limits imposed on them could view books in both sections. To make it easier to find a limited access book, there could be a notice in the general access section stating the book could be found in the limited access section. If a student had limits placed on them, then they would need to ask a librarian to get a limited access book. If the book was not one that the student’s parents had barred him or her from reading, then the librarian could get it for the student.

The above would make it more complicated and expensive for the school. In addition, it would only be manageable if the number of limited access books remains relatively small. If the number of limited access books gets too large, it may make sense to split the limited access sections into different sections based on what makes the book objectionable. Then students could just be limited from accessing some of the limited access sections instead of all of them.

It is important to note that students may become curious when their peers are allowed to learn about more things than they can, or their peers are able to read books that they have been banned from reading. In some cases, this curiosity could lead these students to find a way to learn about these additional things, or to read the books they have been banned from reading.

Majority Rule

In our democratic society, we have a Representative Democracy based on a Majoritarian Democracy. This would suggest that we would have Majority Rule where our representatives, propositions and bills would need to get a majority of the votes of eligible voters to be elected or to be passed.

The candidate who gets most of the votes should win. A bill or proposition that gets most of the votes should pass. In addition, our representatives propose and vote on bills. In this case, the outcome should be determined by whether most of our representatives vote for or against a bill.

When our laws are passed by the majority, it is more likely that most of the population will be happier with the results than if we were ruled by some authoritarian government that might pass laws that only a minority of the population agreed with. However, the problem is that in our democracy the majority does not always rule.

In most places, our representatives and other elected officials can win an election with just a plurality of the votes. That is, with just more votes than their opponents, which may be far less than a majority. In addition, even though a majority of our representatives must vote for a bill for it to pass, they could do so even when a majority of us do not approve of the bill. There are also many problems with Majority Rule itself.

First off, if we elect someone with less than a majority of the votes, then this person is unlikely to represent all of us. Even when someone does get a majority of the votes, if none of the candidates were truly representative of all of us, then this person is also unlikely to represent all of us.

Then, our representatives may not always vote the way most of us would have wanted. Instead, they may base their vote on what they want, on what their political party wants, or on what some special interest group or big campaign donor wants. There have been many attempts to try to fix this problem. There has been campaign reform, special interest group regulation, and ethics improvement, but the underlying issues have not been addressed.

To ensure that our representatives truly represent us by voting the way we want, we will need to make some significant changes in our electoral process and the way we pass our laws. I have a few ideas about what we can do, which I talked a bit about in a previous section and will talk more about later.

On the other hand, many of us may not always want what is best for us. Some of us may have been manipulated through some means into wanting something that is not best for us. Then others of us may fall into the trap of a Bandwagon Fallacy. We may believe that we should want something because a lot of other individuals want it. Therefore, we all need to do our best to ensure we are knowledgeable and well informed about the issues so that we can make good decisions about what we want.

Then, even when we do have Majority Rule, we can still leave the minority out of the political process and unhappy about the way things are going. We can see this most clearly when we are in the minority. The best place for most Americans to see this is in how they would be treated as citizens of some other countries. For instance, in many countries where they are in the minority, Christians suffer persecution and lack many rights given to the country’s other citizens.

We can also see many examples of this in our own country. Take any issue where the population is closely divided between strongly opposing ideas about what should be done. For instance, take gun control. Any time there is any legislation passed that toughens or weakens gun control laws, many of those individuals on one side of the issue or the other will be unhappy.

It would be nice if every piece of legislation that we passed could make all of us happy, but it would seem unlikely that we could make all of us happy every time. On the other hand, there are a couple of ways to make most of us happy, or at least okay, with how things work. One way would be to base our democracy on the principle of a Consensus Democracy where our decision making would consider as broad a range of options as possible. The other way to do this is to allow us to have the most freedom possible when it comes to deciding how we live our own lives.

The limit on how much freedom we have should be set just before the point where our actions would do undue harm to others, to other living things, or to our environment. Things that would not do undue harm should be legal. Things that would always do undue harm should be illegal. Those things that could go either way, depending on the circumstances, should be regulated so that the undue harmful aspects are controlled or eliminated. We need to make it clear that someone doing something that others may not like nor approve of would not in and of itself cause anyone undue harm, and if it would not do any undue harm, then it should be legal.

Let’s start with a simple example dealing with free speech. For instance, many individuals, including me, do not like it when others use vulgar or obscene language. Although we may cringe or get angry when we hear it, by itself, it does not cause us any undue harm unless we let it, so we should not make it illegal. Of course, no one should be forced to listen to it, so we should always have the right to avoid it by blocking it when we can, keeping those who use it out of our homes, and by patronizing businesses that keep it out.

What if someone verbally threatens to harm us, our family, friends or belongings, or any other person or thing? In this case, it would be reasonable to expect that someone making a treat might carry through with that treat, and therefore a threat would cause us to be worried or stressed out by it. Since a threat would cause us psychological harm, then this form of speech should be illegal. That is, anyone making a threat should be arrested and held accountable in a similar fashion as if they had tried to carry out their threat.

As a further example, let’s look at gambling. Many of us find it fun to place an occasional wager. Even if some of us think it is bad or sinful to gamble, that should not be enough to make it illegal. On the other hand, there are a few bad things that can come from gambling, but they can be controlled. For instance, we would not want someone to gamble away his or her rent money. This could get his or her family thrown out on the street, would deprive the landlord of his or her income, and place a burden on society when we try to help the family. Therefore, controls would need to be put in place to limit a person’s gambling to the discretionary funds that his or her family has approved of for the purpose of gambling.

To protect all our rights, including those of us who are in the minority on some issue, we need to make changes that prevent the majority from unduly imposing or forcing their beliefs on all of us. The best way to handle this is to change our constitution so that this principle is clearly spelled out, and so that our courts could then ensure that it is upheld. I have a few ideas about what we can do, which I will address when I talk about each appropriate issue.

Next Section

Government - How to make our Government work better.

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Monday, January 01, 2024
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