A nation’s success is dependent on its people having an understanding of what makes it successful. Authoritarian governments seek success through suppressing information, and through spreading misinformation. In a democratic republic where the people have the right to vote, it is vital for information to be shared and debated. Discourse, preferable civil discourse, is essential for national success. However, too many people, who enjoy the benefits of a democratic republic, seek to hide from discourse. For whatever reasons they may give, at the end of the day, they are seeking to hide from the very responsibility they have in the maintenance of their nation and its success.
It requires more than just voting in order to practice informed citizenship. You cannot only tune-in every 2-4 years and hope that you’ll have more than a narrow understanding of the issues.
The world is complex and deferring your civic responsibility to others isn’t going to make you satisfied with the actions of the government.
You might not be a bad citizen if this is what you choose to do, but you won’t be an informed citizen.
During the recent congressional hearing on the issue of the whether President Obama had violated the first amendment by requireing Catholic hospitals to cover services such as birth control, Rep. Darrell Issa was reported by ABC News to have “pointed out that Democrats barred Republican witnesses when they were in the majority.”* This was his argument for why the panel was so one sided.
Well kudos to him for lowering the bar to kindergarten level politics. It is no wonder the public has such a low opinion of the Congress.
*Quoted from the ABC article Rep. Darrell Issa Bars Minority Witness, a Woman, on Contraception by Tom Shine