An Informed Electorate Necessary For Democracy
What are some of the information necessary to be an informed electorate? You would think our schools would be drumming this into our kids. I would put civics on top of the list, and our history and the English language.
- Oct. 2018
Our system of government is based on consent of the governed. This means our citizens vote to elect leaders that writes laws that govern our behavior. This implies that our citizens are literate and speak a common language and have a basic understanding of our Constitution. It also means that elections should have consequences. Thomas Jefferson, one of our founding fathers, recognized this to be crucial to the survival of our democracy. It is common sense that the electorate must understand the process.
When you see PSA that say “just vote”... or “every vote counts”...what message are they sending?
An informed electorate consist of the following:
- ability to read and write and speak English as the common language
- a clear understanding of civics and our Constitution
- a knowledge of our history, the founding of our nation, the wars we faught and the sacrifices made to preserve our Republic.
Why Is This Important?
Our government and our laws and society stands on the ability of our citizens to be informed and to participate in elections every two years.
How do we get informed? We are taught in schools the basics, such as math, English and history.
We are also informed of current events by our press. In the old days, it was just radio and newspapers. Now the new media includes paper, magazine, TV, Cable, Internet, and talk radio.
Once we learn what is going on, we can make an informed decision come election time. From one generation to the next, that is how our democracy is preserved and propagated. It is imperative that we preserve this process.
When our public education system fail to teach our students, one part of this process is inhibited. When our media gets corrupted and the news is distorted, it affects our ability to make an informed decision.
When we fail to learn our history, as George Satayana said, we are doomed to repeat it.
In 2018, we are facing a crisis of confidence. We can no longer take for granted the election process. Some of the people voting are not informed. Some don’t even speak our language. Some are not citizens. Some are illiterate.
Why is that?
Some Related Info
- American Civics 101
A basic primer on Civics every American should learn.
- One in three citizens cannot pass a basic citizenship test.
© 2018 Jack Lee