We live in tumultuous times. Last weekend I asked people of various political persuasions to write about the state of our country’s democracy in advance of the inauguration.
Because the request was on short notice, some folks were not available, others did not respond. You can read the Community Voices commentaries of those who did respond.
What prompted my request was a desire to see if we are able to express our views, strongly held and even partisan, in a way based on facts and in a way that invites discussion.
After all, if we cannot agree upon the facts, it’s hard to have a discussion. And if we can’t have a discussion, it’s hard to see how we can have a democracy.
Facts, of course, can be disputed and themselves discussed. But there are procedures by which facts are established and agreed upon. Our news stories are fact-based. We expect the essays, opinions and analyses written by our Community Voices writers to be engaging because they are based on facts.
Can we have a discussion about the state of our country’s democracy? Not democracy as some kind of shining ideal or historical relic but democracy as a work in progress, fashioned daily in how we talk, write and act in the public squares of our communities.
That’s what we want to do our best to make happen. What do you think? Write me a letter. Be factual in your point of view, keep it to no more than 300 words and include your name, address and daytime phone number.
I’ll be looking forward to it.