Under Discussion: Democracy’s Demands

“If there were a nation of Gods,” Rousseau wrote, “it would govern itself democratically. A government so perfect is not suited to men.” But who is failing whom? Is the ill-fit a matter of shirked duties or poor institutional design? Is it that we the people can’t be bothered to fulfill our civic responsibilities or that democracy fails to address us as we are? Do we give too little or does democracy demand too much?

Over the next week, our writers will explore the idea that American democracy is “under threat” and suggest strategies for restoring faith in our institutions, recovering the people’s will, repairing democratic norms, and rebuilding our democracy. We’ll define our obligations to democracy as well as democracy’s obligations to us.

-E. Tucker Sechrest, Editor

Rachel Robison-Greene – “Consent of the Governed? Obstacles to Free and Fair Elections

Evan Butts – “A Dearth of Democracy

Benjamin Rossi – “Are Liberalism and Democracy Fundamentally at Odds?

A.G. Holdier – “Democracy Demands More than Your Vote

Kenneth Boyd – “Is It Rational to Be an Ignorant Voter?

Meredith McFadden – “Voting Best Interests and Democratic Legitimacy