A time for questions


The day before the election, the Seattle Review of Books published a piece of mine which examined Against Democracy—a contrarian treatise written by Jason Brennan. The author’s arguments essentially boiled down to two deficiencies related to collective rule:

1) people are susceptible to supporting positions and politicians that do not serve their best interests


2) public discourse tends to the lowest common denominator of society.

Where myself and Brennan disagreed was whether or not these two very real issues were insurmountable. He ultimately views democratic citizens as irredeemable, while I consider my fellow citizens as reformable.

As the reality of Hillary Clinton’s loss began to sink in last Tuesday night, I turned to Paul Constant (the co-founder of the Seattle Review of Books) and asked him if I could add an addendum to my piece: “Ignore all of the arguments I have hitherto made. Democracy is a terrible form of government.”

In all seriousness, Americans should take the result of November 8th, 2016 as an opportunity to reflect on our responsibilities as civic participants. Is our government structured in the best way possible? If not, how could we improve it? Will building the wall help give identity to our people? Will registering Muslims make us safer?

Now is a time for questions, not answers.

Nick Cassella

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