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Richard D. Brown’s “Epilogue-Looking Backward: The Idea of an Informed Citizenry at the end of the Twentieth Century” raises some very interesting points as to how Americans view their political leaders. “The fact that politicians, likes used car salesmen are often ranked at the bottom of the public’s hierarchy of trust and respect suggests that the restoration of deference may be fanciful.” Where are the characters such as Washington, Hamilton, and Franklin who are the hallmarks of American prosperity in the society of today? Well, as Brown puts in his epilogue, they don’t exist because the American public has created a society that values the talking head figures of the world and does not seek the unbiased truth on a matter. Where are the citizens who went out of their way to promote the voice of the people whether that be in the streets or the pub? Well the American society has invested so much on an intellectual/political few that the common man has been so mislead by the said talking heads that they cannot inform their own opinion. Now while this little game of question and answer I have picked up in Brown’s epilogue seems to speak down to the state of America today he on page 205 draws his points on the lack of citizen role in politics to the original concept of America. The common man shouldn’t be allowed to make/dictate society because they simply are too inferior to grasp concepts necessary for success.
The framers of America following the American Revolution recognized how easy the common man could be manipulated and thus established political boundaries (like the Electoral College) to keep this common man from disturbing the flow of the U.S. “Citizens should be sufficiently informed and critically minded to be able to choose public officials wisely.” So I am going to now pose a question, are we Davidson students informed/critically minded enough to choose our public officials? Personally despite the high view I have for myself and my education I honestly believe that there are issues I have such a lack of knowledge of, that my voting seems like a detriment to American society. Sadly, this view is shared by many classmates as we talked about this a few weeks ago. I certainly could become versed to choose public officials wisely but that would mean that I would have to take time out of my busy day to look up details of a candidate. But where would my first trip to figure out these politicians? The same talking heads that Brown says are hurting political understanding due to their bias. Why? Well, because it is easier to find information that way. It is time for individuals to no longer take the bias when it comes to political action and search for the truth of issues that matter. We as a society have become so warped by an idea of media that originality is a difficult thing to come by. We must being promoting individuals who have “taken the time to become informed and encourages private citizens to be informed as well. The call to action has been made, are we the soon to be new leaders in a political society ready to make the call?