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Burgers, Fries and Ignorant Politics: Does Democracy Need an Overhaul?
America has become a confusing place for many people who are trying to decipher through the mess of politics that is inherent in a huge country that touts democracy. The Critical Review’s (No. 1 Vol. 19) article Ignorance as a Starting Point: From Modest Epistemology to Realistic Political Theory states that a new elitist political paternalism may be necessary to counter the general ignorance of the population. In other words, brighter minds need to make decisions for people.
The concept of political elite makes some sense but in reality this is already the case. We have in the U.S. a pseudo-democracy in the sense that all of the candidates are known but few, except the elite, know what the candidates stand for. Democracy, in its early American terms, meant that politics was done on a local basis. People knew who the runners were, shook their hands, asked them questions, etc… This is one of the reasons why many politicians still travel the country.
At one time in history it meant something to be part of a party. However, as these parties matured (Democrats & Republicans) the lines of difference in their ideologies have changed. People seem to float near the center and it is almost impossible to determine their party simply based on the way they vote. Some are liberal and some are conservative but parties have become only a path to politics; not an ideological difference.
The fact that candidates and parties have become confusing, the average person has become confused as to what the issues really are. For example, people might not know what all of the candidates stand for and may possibly vote on race issues, locality, and appearance instead of actual political ideology. In other words, issues of importance are no longer the issues of politics.
When people are faced with making a decision without adequate information or with confusing information they will choose what they know. If someone appears to be honest or they speak in a tone or manner that makes sense then they will vote for that candidate. In some cases people will simply vote for a candidate because they remember their name. This means the process is breaking down.
Currently, the country is run by political elites. This is the group of people who have the highest level of income and education. They are the ones that contribute to campaigns, read their newspaper on a regular basis, and view politics as a method of maintaining wealth. For example, the Israeli lobby as the countries largest lobby even though it is a foreign entity. Where are the domestic issues in relation to this issue?
Thus, the article Ignorance as a Starting Point: From Modest Epistemology to Realistic Political Theory premises that a paternalistic political elite need to be developed in order to steer people into the right candidates is already in existence. It isn’t a formal method or system as outlined in the system but that those who control the labor control the country. The farther you move up the wealthy scale the tighter knit the group.
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