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Thursday, November 18, 2010

In Praise of Pedestrian Government

Sometimes I like to see the glass half full.  Sometimes I like to see that the value of democracy far exceeds the messiness of the process.  Sometimes I even glory in the messiness.  When one considers the alternatives (and we’ve had ample display of those alternatives) it is with great relief that I settle in to enjoy relentless untidiness and controversy.  A great rationale underlies divisive politics—lock-step unity is far worse.  Lock-step too often transforms to goosesteps.  I find in disarray a profound comfort, a safety.  Sometimes I distrust a big program that promises to be good for us.  I prefer many little steps, so if one proves to be a misstep, the damage is not great.  The die is cast for me.  Democracy is the nest in which I place all my eggs.  If it fails, I know that only the worst of the past will be revisited.  For me, there is no other option.  Will democracy be replaced by something better?  Can we conceive of what it would be?  Until a better light brings astonishing new illumination, better to keep aglow the modestly humane and kindly light of liberty.

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