Letter: Distrust of direct democracy


(Matt Rourke | AP file photo) The U.S. Capitol is illuminated by the rising sun on Capitol Hill in Washington on December 18, 2019.

The Greek philosopher Plato was wary of “democracy“, and for good reason. Read his famous “Ship of Fools” (Ship of State) analogy, imagining a sea voyage where all travelers feel entitled to steer the ship. Those who shout the loudest, but know nothing about navigation skills, are at the helm. Discipline and order go overboard and the result is a sort of drunken pleasure cruise, rather than a rational and well-organized trip. Does this sound familiar to you?

In fact, the distrust of direct democracy started with the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, hence the Electoral College. This distrust of the direct vote of the people has spread to state legislatures. A good example of this is the current thwarting the will of voters here in Utah for legislative redistribution (Prop. 4), continuing their plans for gerrymandering.

Welcome to American democracy; as Winston Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government except all others.” We know this firsthand. The next four years will likely determine whether we survive as “E Pluribus Unum” or become a Brazil of the North.

Warren S. Wright, Saint-Georges

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