Given the consolidation of media ownership into fewer and fewer hands, the diversity of editorial viewpoints is dwindling. Once a free press voiced different perspectives from across the political spectrum. Now newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV seem to cover the same stories the same way. Why? The so-called “liberal” media are largely owned by conservatives allied with friends in government.
Supreme Court justices and federal judges are appointed for life. They are nominated by presidents and approved by the Senate. The House has no vote in court appointments. Why not? Was the judiciary ever intended to feel any allegiance to the common people?
Security for a president isolates the high leader from the world, but the business of being president requires that leader to know the world intimately. Opposing and undermining one another, these conflicting demands for security and access must make the routine character of the presidency feel surreal at times.
Liberty is not the tradition in every land. Where representative or republican democracy has become a habitual way of life, the ongoing personal growth needed for genuine democracy is difficult. It’s hard to release a long-standing, comfortable prejudice for wanting leaders to control our lives. Responsible self rule frightens most of us.
Our imagined state is now two steps removed from self rule. The people have grown reliant on government for choices they once made themselves, like when to plant a field and how to price the grain. Life in a republic diverts people from recalling life in a direct democracy. Soon their memories of living without [...]
IMPERMANENCE might be the one permanent truth in our universe. The settlers’ initial struggles in our isolated community united them in common cause, yet in that first generation or another, human frailties and vices surface, such as robbery, rape or murder. Seeing others sin, the resolve for self control evaporates. As a distrust spreads, wrote Paine, the settlers discover the necessity of “establishing some form of government to supply the defect of moral virtue.”