When the Founding Fathers debated and established our government, there were many who feared democracy and compared it to rule by the mob. It was their fear that the masses would be guided more by their passion than their intellect. Today, as even a relatively partial observer can note the fears of those cautious Founders appear to have been fairly grounded. On issue after issue, large numbers of our citizens vocally express their ignorance with a degree of pride that must have Alexander Hamilton spinning wildly in his grave.
In the world's most successful democratic society, the very people who benefit most from our political system are often the most oblivious to its structure and foundations. Doubt this? Conduct your own survey. Ask those around you a series of questions about celebrities and their performances and you are likely to hear an extended monologue concerning their value to our society. Ask those same people about the specifics of the contributions made by our Founders or even ask them specific questions about our current leaders and you are likely to either be enveloped in silence or caught in a deluge of rhetoric based on biased, non-factual emotional rants. Rarely will you be engaged in a principled discussion of the most pressing issues facing society.
Too many want to spew their personal moral views on a woman's right to control her own body, or who has the right to marry whom or whose view of God is more correct. Where are the passionate discussions about the factors necessary to keep our political system viable? Where is the public debate on the legitimate need for a fair distribution of economic opportunity in this nation? Who is factually raising the concern of having a failed state on our southern border? Who is openly talking about the changing nature of our society caused by the aging of the Baby Boomers? How many people are actively discussing the rising challenges posed to our future by China and India? On significant issue after issue, the public debate simply does not exist. Instead, our nation is channeled to the melodrama of sensational trials or the latest buzz in the entertainment industry.
There is a rising tide of dumb in this nation and if not stemmed soon, we run the very real risk of being drowned in a sea of ineptitude.