Wednesday, November 9, 2016


The tools of democracy and republic were not intended to be the means by which two mutually antagonistic groups determine which of their mutually exclusive worldviews and understandings of the national interest is to be imposed on the public as a whole. Democracy in America is not broken, any more than a screwdriver is broken because it does not saw things in half. We have insisted on putting our tools to incorrect usage, and then are unwilling to answer for our own intents.
It's interesting.When this thought occurred to me this morning, it seemed true. It seemed to fit in with the way the world actually worked. But the more I thought about it, the more it dawned on me that while it was a convenient narrative that explained what I saw, it didn't do the job of explaining what actually happened. Language is a powerful tool, because it shapes our thoughts (to such a degree that there is a school of thought that says that children don't actually think until they learn to converse inside their own heads). But also because it shapes the way we perceive.

I don't know that the insight that came to me about the nature of elections is wrong. I suspect, to a degree, that it is, because it's too convenient, too pat, too in tune with the perceptions that my language about politics had created. And so I must find a different insight. I don't know yet, but I think I know where to look for it.

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