By JOAN KENT | La Farge
Democracy is messy, and noisy. Especially now.
But for all its bellowing, it’s fragile and splintering in this country from divisive tactics, gerrymandering, insinuations, lies, photo distortions, and laws that make it harder to vote.
That’s how banana republics are formed, and I fear we’re dangerously close. I want a lively democracy with leaders who care more about the country and us than their own power and egos, and where we’re not afraid or too disgusted from all the nastiness to have civil discussions about our differences and concerns. Where there aren’t awkward silences at Thanksgiving dinner with relatives.
For me, in Wisconsin this year, that means voting for Democrats. But no matter what your political leanings (or lack of), clear the clutter. Throw out the mailers with Photoshopped ghoulish images; question or ignore the barrage of social media and TV ads. Instead, look at candidates’ voting records and histories and try to gauge their character and intentions before giving them the precious gift of your vote.
Americans have died and suffered awful injuries for us to have this privilege, and a Winston Churchill quote sums up what’s at stake: “Democracy is the worst form of government,” he said in 1943, “except for all the others.”