The Essence of Democracy

Here is a really short post for today.

The essence of democracy is the right to be wrong.

The key to democracy is the right to state your opinion, and to have it heard – to place your ideas in the public discourse, for review, discussion, and development.

Remember that we are all ignorant, just about different stuff. So, no matter what we say, there are those who are certain we are wrong, just as there are those who we know are wrong.

What becomes fascinating as we move through life is how many things we knew were wrong tend to become not wrong as time goes by. Our understanding of the world, and of people, tends to become broader, and we better understand that things we previously saw as black or white are in fact shades of gray (and red, yellow, blue, green…)

If we are allowed only to be right. most good ideas would be suppressed – by those who have the power to control what is determined to be right and to be wrong.

It is a ability to voice our understandings and to hear the ideas of others that makes for an informed public and a reduction in ignorance. It also results in improvements in a democratic society, usually a threat to those in positions to control what is determined to be right and to be wrong.

So, speak up!

What do you think? Really.