America is in trouble. The sun is setting and unless efforts are made to recapture the traits that made this country so great it is not an over statement to say that the American Age is drawing to a close. How did we get in this predicament? The answer is not as simple as most would have us believe, yet there is a symptom that does reveal insight into this decline. The loss of social capital and the decline in community help to explain much of our problems.
People have lost the sense of community that makes representative democracy a viable form of government. History shows time and time again that in order for states that rely on elections to survive the populace must be engaged and informed about the happenings in their capitals. This certainly held true for much of American history. From the earliest days of the revolution to the darkest hours of the civil war, our citizens have historically been highly engaged in the affairs of their state. Today this is no longer that case. Most American do not take the time to learn and evaluate their leaders in a critical sense. Instead, we rely on party labels and the idea that the other side are the bad guys. Rather, we should understand and accept that the only path to sustainable democracy run through active public discourse of the affairs of the day and the pressing needs of the future.
It is easy to simply blame the politicians for this predicament. However, this answer overlooks the essential fact that ultimately elected officials must answer to voters. Yet, the modern voter, for the most part, is either too partisan or too disinterested in the affairs of the state to perform this job with any accuracy. While this is a bleak prognosis for the American state it is not a fatal prognosis. If history shows that democracy can not survive without this form of civic participation then it also shows that when the desire is present to overcome these obstacles then success and rejuvenation can follow. The economic crisis of the past year should serve as a wake up call to most Americans. The government fail. It failed to protect the voter from the wild greed that has always been associated with wall street. It failed to regulate a shadowy industry. An industry that many of most prominent and experienced economist argued posed a grave risk to the health of America’s economy.
Join together. Join together and help to save your country. The internet has provided us with unlimited forums for the discussion and dissemination of the very kinds of information that are needed to rejuvenate this great state. Citizen journalist, dig for the truth. Post the truth and share it with your fellow countrymen. Whether it is highlighting the greed that has infected our government institutions or the apathy that has infected the populace, drag it into the light and expose it for what it is. Only through this way can we hope to save our country from the dark hours that wait ahead.