MaryJane Selgrade: Selling principles of democracy

November 13, 2013 

What must the rest of the world think? The U.S. is always promoting democracy as the most desirable of governments and encouraging other countries to adopt it. However, the example we are currently setting really weakens this viewpoint. The recent standoff and government shutdown are but one example. The continuing barrage of political ads that are full of half-truths or untruths has made the political process a zoo. But perhaps there’s hope.

As I lamented the sorry state of our democracy to my son, he said, “Don’t worry. Social media is free. Twenty years from now, that’s how political campaigns will be run. People will not have to resort to expensive ads.” I hope he’s right.

At the beginning of the 20th century, it was predicted that the streets of London would soon be knee-deep in horse manure, but the automobile prevented that. Perhaps technology can again save us before our democracy is buried in a different kind of manure. It could at least level the playing field. One thing is certain: We cannot count on the moneyed interests that currently dominate our political process to put the principles of democracy above their own personal gain.

MaryJane Selgrade

Raleigh

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