A Bright Future for Debate
One of the foundations of the United States is that we are a country governed by democracy. In this system, citizens are expected to be well informed on civic matters in order to make competent decisions. This makes for the smallest possible gap between the public's needs and government policies. In the last 200 years, this system has evolved to an overly representative democracy where the public generally trusts its representatives to make their decisions. This environment leads to a uniformed public who are disconnected from their government. The problem is in no way one that can be solved by a simple solution. It is important that the roles of politicians and the media in debate become more defined because a harmony between the two will foster an involved and competent public.
Politicians need to have an obligation to objectively present issues and take clear stances on these issues in order to gain popularity.
Currently, a thick haze consisting of political correctness and ulterior motives prevents the average person from understanding politics. Negative campaigning, for example, is a serious problem in current politics. In many cases, political rivalries become a matter of appearances and impressions. There is too much emphasis on finding the flaws of an opponent's life history, background, or character. This distracts citizens from the issues at hand and the politicians' agendas. They are forced to look "confident, untroubled, and therefore unreal." (Lasch) In addition, the public does not have the time or energy to sift through this haze, especially while there is a social upper class of politicians who seem to make all the choices for Americans anyway. In order to narrow the gap between the common voice and government, citizens should understand that their voice is important. Even with...