Oval Office Thunderdome: None of the Above

What are the responsibilities of citizens in a democracy? Is there a base level of participation that is required? In some countries there is. There is no requirement in the United States that the eligible voters of the country must educate themselves about, or participate in, the choosing of our leaders. There is nothing wrong with that. It would be nice if everyone were engaged with the workings of our government and the actions of our elected representatives, but it is unrealistic to expect such a broad commitment among the electorate.

Another question to ponder: why should we participate? Why should we vote? Why should we bother legitimizing campaigns and elections with our votes when there is so little hope that those we place in charge of our nation are capable of grappling effectively with the great problems of our time? Of course, the answer is, elections have consequences. Those that don’t vote get the leaders they deserve, etc. But is mitigating disastrous leadership all we can expect when we cast our ballots?

These are the troubles of democracy, brother to the chaos of mankind.