Friday, August 24, 2012

The wisdom of Gore Vidal

"Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections
                             are held at great cost
        without issues and with interchangeable candidates."

Gore Vidal (1925-2012)
Writer and unrestrained public figure

I think it may be impossible to have a single opinion about Gore Vidal. I've read a couple of his historical novels (Burr, Lincoln), I loved the movie "Ben Hur" (Vidal was the screenwriter), and I've seen a couple of his televised interviews….Vidal offers so much more, and he probably offers something to irritate almost everyone….I wouldn't want to be on that deserted island, just me and him…

His caustic remark about democracy is troubling to me, but not because I think he's got it just right…his casual dig at democracy is a reminder that there are deeper problems with our form of government, in concept.

Let's be honest, we don't have a functioning participatory democracy—too many people don't vote—and we don't have a functioning implementation of the treasured Enlightenment conception of reasonable, dedicated, upright elected representatives who see the big picture and govern generally in support of the common good…you can add your own disappointments….

Churchill famously said that a democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the other kinds….but he didn't mention possible solutions.

I'm not sure there are feasible solutions…I'm going to keep voting anyway, because it's the best thing I can do.

No comments:

Post a Comment