Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Further Thoughts On Civic Participation And Informed Consent

From Natasha over at Pacific Views. She writes a great piece, and really gets into it, along our main themes of informed consent, expanded political enfranchisement, and grassroots responsibility and accountability of our elected representatives.
Your community needs you. Not someone who's had more practice talking to people. Not someone more influential, attractive, smarter, richer, better educated, or in possession of more leisure time. You.

None of those other things are at issue. Thanks to the magic of television and nationwide print media, we all get constantly presented with the opportunity to compare ourselves to fictional paragons. People whose rough edges have been smoothed away by speaking coaches and make-up artists. We don't see the mustard stained tie, the laundry day clothes, the beat up car they drove nervously to their first job interview, or all the years of struggle and mistakes.


We are today watching the mugging of our democracy, and the collapse of informed consent. But it seems too many people have assumed that with 300 million people watching, nothing too bad can happen. But maybe we need to suggest that because so many people think someone else will handle things, that it's someone else's job to participate and stay informed, we are at far greater risk.

Don't buy the subtle lie that anyone else is working on your behalf to keep you informed, or to tell you if your participation is needed. The media is a business, and their goal is to stay in business. Even bloggers who are gathering information for a hobby each have a personal agenda regarding what interests and concerns them. And all information outlets are prone to missing things that may be of crucial importance, because they can't cover everything there is to know.

There's a lot more, as she really fleshes out her thoughts, and I highly encourage you to join her. We all need to become more actively involved in our own liberty, community, and world.