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An Informed Electorate Necessary For Democracy

Updated on October 4, 2018
jackclee lm profile image

Jack is currently a volunteer at the Westchester County Archives. Before retiring, he worked at IBM for over 28 years.

Introduction

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

Background

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?

Informed Electorate

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.

Summary

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?

© 2018 Jack Lee

Comments

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    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Good stuff here Jack. My youngest is in public school in third grade and has already been taught who is who and our levels of government. I think they are teaching it just fine but parents are not making any learning a priority.

      Here is an interesting side note. My wife knows more about our government than most who just blurt things out. Why? Because she is a legal immigrant and citizen and she had to learn it.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      10 months ago from Yorktown NY

      T, it boggles my mind we have people running for Congress and serving as Senators and Congressmen who have no understanding of our Constitution and laws. People like Alexandria Cortez...

      If she is elected in November, God help us.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      10 months ago from now on

      Excellent points, Jack! Short and sweet!

      It's so simple and yet good people have silently sat back and watched the devolution of our education system and the media for over 60 years. The gradual rewriting of history by the left, media saturation of the news with lies and misinformation, ignoring the real news to the extent that you can't believe anything in the news, is getting worse, not better.

      Finally we have a president who, a flawed human that he may be, is willing to say and do what his supporters want said and done.

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