Fixing our Democracy requires knowing how it works...

Blame it on reading too much Alan Moore in high school but to paraphrase one of his characters, I've always subscribed to the belief that in a functioning democracy, people should not be afraid of their government -- government should be afraid of its people. Ok, not afraid per say but "on notice" that government exists to serve the people and not the other way around.

As a progressive it goes without saying that I also believe that government has a positive role to play in peoples lives (as opposed to Grover Norquist's followers who don't believe in government and therefore governments under their leadership tend to play a negative role in people's lives). However, progressive governance is only achievable when the government knows that the public is watching and that it is ultimately accountable to the people.

But it is nigh impossible to make the government serve the public when the public doesn't even know what the government does or what government can do. And beyond knowing facts like how long a congressional term is and various interpertations of the Equal Protection Clause, the public has to also know how to turn awareness into action. To make government use its powers for good, not evil the public has to know how to impact the government, becoming personally engaged in politics at the local and national level.


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