Article Comment 

Our view: Our American democracy



Tomorrow it will be 235 years since King George III wrote in his diary, "Nothing important happened today." 


Maybe from his vantage point in London that was the case, but 3,000 miles to the west, a group of feisty colonists were embarking on an experiment in self-government. It was like nothing ever done before or since, a government by the people, for the people and of the people. Self-rule. 


Above all that democratic experiment cherished individual freedom. You could say what you wanted to say, go where you wanted to go and do what you wanted to do. You could even worship whomever you wanted to worship (or not). 


With that freedom came responsibility. People were self-reliant; they worked; they took care of each other. They didn''t look to their government for their care and feeding. This was the place where, with the right amount of hard work, talent and luck anything was possible. Always has been. 


As we are seeing in the Arab Spring, democracy simply doesn''t happen. It is a messy thing. It requires a literate and engaged population. And, just as ours did, it often requires bloodshed. 


There is a lot about the state of our democracy that alarms us: a dysfunctional Congress, a government too beholden to corporate interests and a celebrity obsessed electorate. 


Yet, as a democratic society we have the ability to reinvent ourselves, to enact change. We''d like to think that we, the people, still control our national destiny. 


On this celebration of our nation''s independence, we ask readers to renew their commitment to our democracy: Educate yourself and vote; volunteer; serve on a board; write a letter to the editor. Be part of the change that needs to happen. 


Something very important happened 235 years ago. It''s up to us to keep it going.



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Reader Comments

Article Comment walter commented at 7/5/2011 1:25:00 PM:

We must become more engaged, if we are already engaged in making Our Democracy work. If we have not been engaged, the time to become engaged was yesterday!


The second to the last paragraph in the editorial says it all. It states precisely what must be done to make sure that Our Democracy works.


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