Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rhetorical Questions

What becomes of a democracy where the people think ideas are burdens?  Where to be opinionated means the same thing as closed minded?  Where you have your facts and I have mine?  Where those who think at all are told, "You think too much"?

What kind of democracy urges everyone to vote but encourages fascination with public figures the citizenry of no state has voted to current office, figures whose profoundest insights fit on bumper stickers?  What kind of democracy has only two parties, both of which value the rights of corporations over those of workers?

What kind of democracy encourages hope, pride, faith, and work but not debate, maturity, whimsicality, and pleasure?  What kind of democracy promotes private ownership as the chief happiness available to its citizens?  What kind of democracy celebrates the diversity of choice in breakfast cereals that differ only in shape and color and branding and packaging?

What kind of democracy celebrates 200-year-old deists and rationalists as supporters of biblical Christianity and a 2000-year-old bachelor as a promoter of marriage and family values?

What kind of democracy interprets a constitution framed by slave owners strictly according to original intent?

In what kind of democracy are "fascism" and "socialism" regarded as synonyms?  In what kind of democracy does the statement "lack of faith is itself a form of faith" make sense, but "lack of orange juice is itself a form of orange juice" does not?  In what kind of democracy can you not say certain words in public yet proclamation of any sort of hateful opinion is protected, as long as its wording is generally latinate?

What kind of democracy rewards children and teenagers for attracting attention on sports teams more than in classrooms?  What kind of democracy pays coaches more than school nurses?  What kind of democracy thinks it is not child abuse to tell children that they or their friends are in serious, imminent danger of hellfire?

What kind of democracy supports maintaining personal convictions without routinely subjecting them to the test of facts, experience, and sound reasoning?  What kind of democracy rewards following orders more than following one's bliss?

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