To improve our democracy, read a good book!

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Dan_473

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2014
7,759
827
113
#1
This article is about 10 years old, but the main points are probably still valid.

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/is-technology-producing-a-decline-79127

In a free society, there will always be fake news. It used to be called propaganda, before that, yellow journalism.

How can democracy function well if most voters are misled?

The best antidote, in my opinion, is critical thinking.

And it turns out that a good way to improve one's critical thinking skills is reading for pleasure!
 

Roughsoul1991

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2016
3,036
585
113
#2
This article is about 10 years old, but the main points are probably still valid.

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/is-technology-producing-a-decline-79127

In a free society, there will always be fake news. It used to be called propaganda, before that, yellow journalism.

How can democracy function well if most voters are misled?

The best antidote, in my opinion, is critical thinking.

And it turns out that a good way to improve one's critical thinking skills is reading for pleasure!
I much prefer to improve my Constitutional Republic.

Constitutional Democracies never last long and usually die very quickly.

“Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths -Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would at the same time be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.”

James Madison, , Federalist No. 10
James Madison created the basic framework for the U.S. Constitution and helped write the Bill of Rights. He is therefore known as the Father of the Constitution.


Plato wrote in The Republic, “And so tyranny naturally arises out of democracy.”
 

calibob

Sinner saved by grace
May 29, 2018
6,610
4,421
113
65
lawton ok
#3
I've been ruminating how to respond for hours. Unfortunately I tend to agree in a worldly sense. I've been reading a lot of Old Testament lately. I've never before had political interests in studying it before. I'm learning that mankind has never been able to form a Godly society, ever, in history. Time and time again greed, selfishness, desires for worldly things has altered good intentions. People fail to follow and obey God and just can't keep it together very long and fall under the control of greedy, lustful, ambitious men. Sometimes who are placed into power to punish rebellious and idolatrous nations. I find it sad but true.

It saddens me to accept that we cannot be trusted to rule ourselves as if God was looking over each of our shoulders and critiquing our motives when we go to vote. But it's true. If any of the New Testament authors were to run for office and state as a political platform that we should share everything we own with the needy and not store up riches on earth, (like it says in the New Testament.) They'd be called Socialists laughed at and ran out of the country or get locked up or killed to be kept quiet. The last time I voted when they asked me which party I supported or belong to, I said none. I was registered as 'DTS' (declined to state) It's not a secret, however none is not an option.
 

Dan_473

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2014
7,759
827
113
#4
I much prefer to improve my Constitutional Republic.

Constitutional Democracies never last long and usually die very quickly.

“Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths -Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would at the same time be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.”

James Madison, , Federalist No. 10
James Madison created the basic framework for the U.S. Constitution and helped write the Bill of Rights. He is therefore known as the Father of the Constitution.


Plato wrote in The Republic, “And so tyranny naturally arises out of democracy.”
Yes, the USA is a constitutional republic.

I used democracy above because that's how most people think of the USA. And of course, the voters do have a lot of influence over the general course that the government takes. So there is some amount of "people rule".

Interestingly, when things go bad people usually blame the representatives.
People don't usually say
"What a lousy electorate"
 

Dan_473

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2014
7,759
827
113
#5
I've been ruminating how to respond for hours. Unfortunately I tend to agree in a worldly sense. I've been reading a lot of Old Testament lately. I've never before had political interests in studying it before. I'm learning that mankind has never been able to form a Godly society, ever, in history. Time and time again greed, selfishness, desires for worldly things has altered good intentions. People fail to follow and obey God and just can't keep it together very long and fall under the control of greedy, lustful, ambitious men. Sometimes who are placed into power to punish rebellious and idolatrous nations. I find it sad but true.

It saddens me to accept that we cannot be trusted to rule ourselves as if God was looking over each of our shoulders and critiquing our motives when we go to vote. But it's true. If any of the New Testament authors were to run for office and state as a political platform that we should share everything we own with the needy and not store up riches on earth, (like it says in the New Testament.) They'd be called Socialists laughed at and ran out of the country or get locked up or killed to be kept quiet. The last time I voted when they asked me which party I supported or belong to, I said none. I was registered as 'DTS' (declined to state) It's not a secret, however none is not an option.
:D i ruminated for hours before making the OP!

A question I considered was
Couldn't people just read the Bible? Wouldn't that be enough?

Here's how I'm looking at it.
If you get a disease, you pray for healing, and you go to the doctor.

So read the Bible for the spiritual view, and read other books because the Bible probably wasn't intended to be read in a vacuum.
 

Dan_473

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2014
7,759
827
113
#6
Plato wrote in The Republic, “And so tyranny naturally arises out of democracy.”
I've heard that Plato also said something like
People who really want to be in government shouldn't be allowed in government.
 

calibob

Sinner saved by grace
May 29, 2018
6,610
4,421
113
65
lawton ok
#7
:D i ruminated for hours before making the OP!

A question I considered was
Couldn't people just read the Bible? Wouldn't that be enough?

Here's how I'm looking at it.
If you get a disease, you pray for healing, and you go to the doctor.

So read the Bible for the spiritual view, and read other books because the Bible probably wasn't intended to be read in a vacuum.
Well actually I was responding to the last thing I read by rough soul before I went to bed.

As long as the Bible is the standard of measure by which all other information is compared. When there is a discrepancy The Bible is the default setting for me.
 

Lightskin

Well-known member
Aug 16, 2019
1,336
1,524
113
#8
a good way to improve one's critical thinking skills is reading for pleasure!
Beautiful sentiments for American society who has been dumbed down for fifty years.
 

calibob

Sinner saved by grace
May 29, 2018
6,610
4,421
113
65
lawton ok
#9
Beautiful sentiments for American society who has been dumbed down for fifty years.
Much longer than that! Publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951) built his media empire after inheriting the San Francisco Examiner from his father. He challenged New York World publisher Joseph Pulitzer by buying the rival New York Journal, earning attention for his “yellow journalism.” Hearst entered politics at the turn of the century, winning two terms to the U.S. House of Representatives but failing in his bids to become U.S. president and mayor of New York City. He lost much of his holdings during the Great Depression and fell out of touch with his blue-collar audience, but still headed the largest news conglomerate in America at the time of his death
. 1573162534004.png CO https://www.history.com/topics/early-20th-century-us/william-randolph-hearst
 

Roughsoul1991

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2016
3,036
585
113
#10
Yes, the USA is a constitutional republic.

I used democracy above because that's how most people think of the USA. And of course, the voters do have a lot of influence over the general course that the government takes. So there is some amount of "people rule".

Interestingly, when things go bad people usually blame the representatives.
People don't usually say
"What a lousy electorate"
Yes many people do not understand the difference between Republic and Democracy. Unfortunately because we have been taught wrong we dont question enough of our historical past. We have lost the Republic to a Republican Democracy and we are about to be a full Democracy if they do away with the electoral college.

We must correct this thought.

Yes the voters or nonvoters are to blame. We lazily vote or the nonvoters dont contribute and dont care who gets voted in.
 

morefaithrequired

Well-known member
Sep 28, 2019
1,025
598
113
#11
This article is about 10 years old, but the main points are probably still valid.

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/is-technology-producing-a-decline-79127

In a free society, there will always be fake news. It used to be called propaganda, before that, yellow journalism.

How can democracy function well if most voters are misled?

The best antidote, in my opinion, is critical thinking.

And it turns out that a good way to improve one's critical thinking skills is reading for pleasure!
The best antidote is self critical thinking.
 

Roughsoul1991

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2016
3,036
585
113
#12
:D i ruminated for hours before making the OP!

A question I considered was
Couldn't people just read the Bible? Wouldn't that be enough?

Here's how I'm looking at it.
If you get a disease, you pray for healing, and you go to the doctor.

So read the Bible for the spiritual view, and read other books because the Bible probably wasn't intended to be read in a vacuum.
Here in America just about every issue you can filter first through the Bible, then what does history teach on the subject and then what does our Constitution say on the subject.

The Bible as absolute truth, history doesn't lie and can show what good and bad decisions have led, and our Constitution I could easily say is the 2nd greatest governing document given to man by the hand of God

George Washington addressing delegates at the Constitutional Convention. He said,

“If to please the people we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterwards defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the event is in the hands of God."


It appears to me, then, little short of a miracle, that the Delegates from so many different States (which States you know are also different from each other in their manners, circumstances and prejudieces) should unite in forming a system of national Government.”

— George Washington (1732-1799) Father of the Country, 1st President of the United States

The convention by whom that constitution was formed were of opinion that the gospel of Christ, like the ark of God, would not fall, though unsupported by the arm of flesh ...”

— John Jay (1745-1829), Founding Father, Patriot, Statesman and First Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

The United States Constitution has proved itself the most marvelously elastic compilation of rules of government ever written.
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

This by no means is it arrogant or prideful to say that America is exceptional. For the Constitution to last for 300 years, the prosperity and freedom that it has built and protected is evidence enough to make this statement true.

French political scientist and historian Alexis de Tocqueville was the first writer to describe the country as "exceptional" in 1831 and 1840. After his country experienced a very violent and failed revolution, Tocqueville was to America to see what why was it so prosperous.

Christianity is the companion of liberty in all its conflicts - the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims. -Alexis De Tocqueville

Alexis de Tocqueville wrote:

Upon my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country.
-Alexis De Tocqueville 1831.
 

calibob

Sinner saved by grace
May 29, 2018
6,610
4,421
113
65
lawton ok
#13
Bible trumps Constitution. There will only be 1 nation in the millenimeum and there is no president in heaven.. This life is temporary.
Matthew 6:19-24 NIV “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.