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Karthik PalaniappanFinal Paper!

Introduction/Abstract
Thomas Jefferson wrote to John Adams in 1816: Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education & free discussion are the antidotes of both. A common theme among the founding fathers is that there must be an enlightened citizenry to combat tyranny. In this paper, I consider the notion of a thoughtful public through four propositions: (1) Leadership involves at its base the creation of a persuaded audience; but beyond that, leadership involves creating and sustaining a more thoughtful public, a public capable of rising above itself. (2) Leadership always has a political context; leadership in a democracy is necessarily different than leadership in other kinds of political regimes. (3) A more thoughtful public must not only be created and sustained, but, given that things inevitably fall apart, must be recovered and reconstituted. And (4) Leadership always involves assumptions (tacit and acknowledged) about human nature. I examine what a thoughtful public actually entails by comparing it to decidedly less valuable publics. I then discuss what conditions are necessary to create a thoughtful public, especially the role of public and private sector leaders in a society. As naturally follows, I look different necessary conditions to sustain a thoughtful public, including rebuilding one if it falls apart. Finally, I consider to what degree the United States has a thoughtful public. I argue that a thoughtful public is necessary, and that one is feasible using the conditions dealt with in this paperand it will take the effort leaders and the entire public to achieve this common goal.

What is a Thoughtful Public?


Taking the condition that there are inherent differences between a democracy and other regimes, lets examine other less desirable regimes and publics. For the despotic world, we look at the marquis de Custines characterization of despotic Russia. The despotic leaders crush any opposition through fear and intimidation with harsh consequences for those who step out of line. Most people exhibit silence, lying, and compliance. However, some will yearn for freedom of speech and assembly, so will break compliance. Despots should have the tools to quell any minor demonstrations or non-compliance (e.g. Stalins secret police), allowing them to hold power for long periods of time (1547-1917 for the Russian tsars). However, over time, there will be cracks, and the people will subtly work together to change their condition and overthrow the despot. On the other hand, an (ideal) democratic regime is characterized by freedom and consensus building. Political leaders can be voted out, so will placate different groups. The public is characterized by freedom of assembly, suffrage, and most importantly: a national discussion. As we see later, legal rights including first amendment freedoms are important for the thoughtful public. So we end up with three basic differences: (1) passive acceptance versus outward skepticism, (2) silence versus outspoken criticism, and (3), compliance versus consent. To me, these three highlight the keyword thoughtful in thoughtful public. The despotic public must passively accept the decisions of their leaders. The democratic public is naturally skeptical (a taste for independence), and will discuss issues to form a consensus that eventually becomes policy. There is a clear implication that a consensus among various groups will act as a safety valve any major violence like we see in the despotic public. Over time, the thoughtful public is more sustainable.

Off this point, we need to consider an active versus a passive (yet free) public. Pericles states in his Funeral Oration that Our public men have, besides politics, their private matters to attend to, and our ordinary citizens, though occupied with the pursuits of industry, are still fair judges of public matter; for, unlike any other nation, we regard the citizen who takes no part in these duties not as unambitious, but useless. I agree that citizens who do not engage are useless. Consensus requires that all parties affected need to have a balanced say. Then, any policies or leaders chosen/elected will have true acceptance and legitimacy with the publicrather than outrage and violence from the previously silent citizens. There is also an implication that there needs to be a mode of communication for consensus within the public. The early republic had a great postal system for newspapers, pamphlets (including Thomas Paines Common Sense). Now, we have a well-organized national media as well as social media. Finally, we need to contrast a persuaded audience and a thoughtful public. We can have all the communication and freedom necessary but end up with an audience that automatically agrees with its leaders. A definition from the textbook: An audience in this sense can be seen as a passive recipient of the message of persuasion, whereas a public, particularly one more thoughtful, gives us a sense of an aware community, active, and alert and more than willing and able to look into things and askance at things. With this definition in mind, lets look at the conditions necessary on the part of both the public and its leaders in creating a thoughtful public.

Conditions Necessary for a Thoughtful Public


As we saw above, we do need communication to create consensus. According to the textbook, It was this sort of information [letters and newspapers] and exchange [the mail system] that helped establish and legitimate the Republic. However, even before we consider mediums of communication, there have to be legal protection of speech and the press. In the United States, the Constitution does guarantee freedom of speech, the press, assembly, petition (as well as religion). There are, of course, exceptions to the first amendment freedoms (notably the Patriot Act), and I accept that we can never by fully granted our rights. What is important is that we exercise these rights. In my opinion, we all have to do our part to be engaged citizens. Democracy can happen at a dining room discussion. It can happen at party caucuses. Of course, it can happen at rallies and protests. Some despotic countries make it illegal for people to criticize the government and its leaders. The founding fathers seemed to create many constitutional protections against tyranny (to which they were very familiar). So if nobody wants to actively engage, we can become subject to Tocquevilles soft despotismtyranny in its own form. Following the same logic, we must protect an open, free press as a medium of communication, even when that press is seen as an irritant. It should be noted too that even in a democratic civic society, there are temptations to use governmental powers to silence opponents, as for example, the Sedition Act passed by the Federalists to shut out the opposition. Again, the familiar point that government can slowly creep in and take over our rights if we are not careful. Extending the right to free and open inquiry, I would add that we need balanced inquiry. The difference between a public and an audience is that the former is active and the latter is passive. If people are only bombarded by one side of issues, and are only willing to consume news that fits their partisan agenda, we will not have a meaningful discussionpeople need to

consider both sides equally to create a true viewpoint. That is a shortfall of the media that the people need to demand be changed. Given legal protections and knowledge of these protections, we need to look at the important role that leaders in a thoughtful public play. According to Soder, All leaderspublic, school, and private sectorhave a double obligation here: to behave in their formal roles and as community members in ways that will encourage the growth and sustenance of the institutions and processes that are part of a democratic civil society. The implication is that all of these leaders understand the importance of a thoughtful public, consensus building, etc., and are willing to put aside their self-interest. It may help leader X get elected if he feeds his audience only one side of an issuea persuaded audience, but it does not help create legitimacy for the leaders and policies in the long run. In the despotic culture, political leaders stay in power through fear. They chose the laws without any consensus building. So, the leaders and policies have no true legitimacy to the public. To create a thoughtful public, the leaders need to help create consensus by bringing together various factions of the country. Again, this may conflict with their self-interest. The leadership should also be easily changed. The Constitution calls for elections of the presidency and members of congress for 2 6 year terms. Though there are barriers to entry like socioeconomic status and being part of a mainstream party, in theory most people should be able to run for public office if they chose. More choice to the public establishes better trust and legitimacy. Private sector leaders also have a role to play, even if it is not immediately obvious. In a despotic culture, the private sector (if one exists) will try to stay on the governments side to earn its favor. In a democracy, the private sector must lobby the government for special benefits. With lobbying (persuasion) comes an ecology that can spread to the public. Also, they need to keep in mind that they need to be a part of (but not necessarily the dominant part of) the national discussionthe thoughtful public. Finally, we need to look at leaders in schools, taking us back to the quote at the beginning of the paperwe need an enlightened citizenry to combat tyranny. According to Soder, Leaders need to recognize the connection among leadership, a democratic civil society, and education of the people. So far, I have consistently said that leaders and the public need to understand their rights and the importance of a thoughtful public. Schools are where kids are educated to become citizens of a democracy. Schools of course need to address the main aspects of democracy that we talked about above: freedom, rights, and responsibilities. In addition, people need to be taught the social capital (skills to work together to understand problems and create solutions) to exercise these freedoms and rights. Additionally, everyone must recognize the need for E Pluribus Unumout of many, one. We need to balance rugged individualism with the collective action that holds the country together. According to Raymond Aron, Men must also have a certain taste for independence, a certain sense of resistance to power, for freedom to be authentic. It is in large part in schools that citizens develop that taste and that resistance. I think schools are immensely important, especially given that they reflect the regime that they are in (in contrast, schools in a despotic state would teach compliance and order). Of course anybody can buy books and read about our rights, how to create social capital, etc. However, most people will not take the time to do so. Public schools are the only institutions that most of the country will go through. We often treat schools as places just to give us the skills to get jobsthey are more than that. We should see schools as having a dual role to creating a more

thoughtful citizenry that will sustain the thoughtful public. Specifically, I think we lack to the social capital/exchange as well as a respect for civil discourse. Soder says a difficulty in a democracy is how to secure and sustain social capital for all rather than for a select few. As I see it, there is a class of career politicians and the moneyed interests (corporations, wealthy individuals, etc.) who have the strongest voice in government. There are very few public interest groups, but there are a lot for the big industries. The only way that the government will listen to our voice is if we act as true citizens and express our views on issues through voting, protests, etc. Thomas Jefferson was even fine with violence if the government was tyrannical: The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Only in schools will we develop the skills and understanding of what a thoughtful public is so that we can have our interests heard just as clearly as the moneyed interests. Also, schools should teach what it means to be truly thoughtful. As we discuss later, all political issues come down to, at their base, moral grounding on issues. Rather than always looking at our own self-interests (how will this affect my pocketbook), we should also look at how policies will affect society as a whole. Finding a moral ground for any issue is far harder than picking a side. For example, do we have a moral grounding on the importance/failure of entitlement systems in this country, or do we simply agree with what our party thinks? For a thoughtful public, I would say the former is far better. Then, schools must teach how everyone can connect, discuss their views (including with people of opposing viewpoints), and share them with everyone in the country or world. We have freedom of the pressso you can write letters to the editors. You can attend the multitude of town hall meetings. The internet allows for blog posts and has many social media outlets. At the extreme, there are always protests. Unless kids understand that mediums exist, they will never use them. The challenge is to convince people to change our perception of schools as teaching job skills to in part creating citizens. First, we need to agree and recognize that there is a problem and our current political brinksmanship should tell us something is wrong. We do not have an adequate thoughtful public, and schools are the only place being a citizen can be taught. A major charge is that teachers will indoctrinate students to certain viewpoints. First, can we think of any other institutions that can take over this role? Parents? Around of eligible adults do not even vote, so we cannot rely on them. Churches? Only about of the country is Christian, and only 1/3 of Americans attend weekly servicesagain not reliable. Schools are the most reliable, and have no viewpoint. Though teachers have their own viewpoints, we need to make clear that the intent is to provide basic information on issue, but more importantly, teach students how to get information and to create viewpoints for themselves. At the same time, as a public, we should be vigilant of persuasion that is politics. As the name implies, a persuaded audience simply follows what the perceived leader(s) say. We must take the word of politicians and corporate advertising with a grain of salt, and form our own opinions based on a diverse set of information. I mentioned earlier that the media was a huge factor here. Again, I hold that schools can try to fix the problem by teaching the values of a thoughtful publicbalanced information. On a similar note, Tocqueville says politicians will distract us away from the issues at hand by going to war or building railroads. He sees this problem not as just a persuaded audience, but the creep of soft-despotism. Tocqueville doubts that we will ever have a despotic state, but warns that the state and its bureaucracy will become so large that it will subtly guide every aspect of our lives while we act as the governments flock of timid and hardworking animals.

Stewart Brand talks about why we need a very active and thoughtful publicto learn from the past and think long term. He sees the world as a hierarchy of elements that change quickly (e.g. fashion) balanced with elements that change slowly and provide stability (e.g. governance and nature). Brand argued that the environment is one of the slow elements of the hierarchy, and we need to see the long-term implications of ignoring the problem. He wanted a 10,000 year library of scientific research so that we could pull from the past and add to it (rather than ignoring the past). The problem is clear. With a tight budget, very few will favor funding research projects that will take a generation to complete, or millennia to complete a library. Leaders must frame the problem to think long term, and the public must be willing to accept that not all investments will pay off immediatelybut are still worth it. Our concept of the now must turn into the long nowpast even our own lifespans. He gives an example of framing reversing environmental problems as restoring our natural infrastructure. We all need and use the environment, so rebuilding it benefits society as a whole. Also, we do not need to use technology, just smarter, more environmental technology. Finally, we need a system of feedback to see progress. Over all, it takes dedication and continuity to protect the environmentsomething only a thoughtful public can figure out (given they agree that global warming is not a hoax). I agree, but this will be a very hard change in thought. Many people would, presumably, say that they would not give up their hard earned money to the government to fund projects that they will never benefit from, and will not even improve the economy. We already have a large budget deficit and debt, and probably all of our taxes will eventually go up to pay for it. Yet the implication here is a different kind of publicone that accepts an obligation to future generations. The world is not all about simply doing well and making the most money during your lifetime (as Tocqueville might argue Americans do). It is also about securing a path for your children and grandchildren. As Brand describes, we need to see the world as an infinite game (with the goal of sustaining the game) rather than a finite game (with the goal of winning). Again, I return to my argument that we need schools to teach kids of a long view, a thoughtful view.

Sustaining a Thoughtful Public


Creating a thoughtful public is one step, but sustaining a thoughtful public is much harder. The public can easily fall apart without us actually noticing. Again, we go back to Tocquevilles concern of soft-despotic bureaucracy. We also have the tension between freedom and order. At one extreme, we have anarchy and possibly violence (mans natural state). At the other, we see despotism and tyranny (the antithesis of the human condition to be free). The public must avoid being tugged too far in any of these three directions. First and foremost is to perpetuate the main conditions for a thoughtful public is to create (According to Soder): long term relationships necessary for political and social interactions in a democracy If people cannot talk to each other, advance ideas, adduce evidence, and weigh and consider without resorting to physical or verbal violence, it will be difficult for democracy to survive. I do believe that all citizens need them with each other and leaders if we consider on of the conditions for a thoughtful public as exchange. With that comes the entire package of relationships, which Soder describes in the chapter Information Seeking. First, relationships

demand reciprocity: if one provides a gift to the other, that other is almost obliged to give a gift of a similar scale. If he does not, the relationship may fall apart. The implication is then that if you accept the gift, you are willing to reciprocate it. If leaders specifically go to the public for its advice (a gift), they have an obligation to consider the advice rather than simply ignoring it. Talking to people cannot just be used as a photo p; otherwise, the leader is endangering his relationship with the same people he talked to. Likewise, the public needs to provide its advice to remain in control of what the government does. Second, there is a very large ecology to rhetoricwe learn from how our superiors act. If leaders wish to keep a thoughtful public, they must act ethically and use rhetoric that advances a discussion rather than hindering it. The example in the textbook is about why you would love your grandmotherbecause she will leave you money in her will, or because she is your grandmother. These two statements imply very different worldviews: a calculative one, or a caring one. Similarly, your selection of arguments greatly affects how your audience perceives you, and how they view the world. This gets to the fourth proposition that Leadership always involves assumptions (tacit and acknowledged) about human nature. The media and sound bite culture make it sound like there are always two sides to an issue: bumper sticker reasoning. According to Mary Ann Glendon, these arguments constrict opportunities for the sort of ongoing dialogue upon which a regime of ordered liberty ultimately depends. In my opinion, we are wasting the tools of free speech and inquiry. Policies are more complex than two sides, and require a lot of thought and knowledge. I bring this up in the ecology section because this same method of thought can transfer to all aspects of our lives. Non-political advertising is often silly (e.g. beer commercials during the Super Bowl) and broken into sound bite slogans. Tweets on twitter are under 140 characters, so political statements tend to be oversimplified and sensationalized. Catchy statements tend to stick more over honest, well thought out statementsan unfortunate truth. I only in part going to blame the media. I largely blame the public itself. People are unwilling to take the time to think out issues and consider different sides. They are far more easily persuaded by one-liners. The media, politicians, and advertisers only employ these techniques they use only because they work on us. We need to recognize that we are the problem, and work on actively listening to arguments rather than being a passive audience. Only then will these groups give us the respect we deserve. To leaders (and the media): they need to balance persuading their audiences to take certain viewpoints, and instead work on creating a thoughtful public. The founding fathers took the time to write the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalistwhich are filled with reason and philosophical assertions rather than rhetoric. Yes, they were used to convince their audiences to accept the Constitution or deny it, but there was a different tone and implication about human nature there. The second aspect of ecology and rhetoric is using euphemisms. Especially in terms of foreign policy, we tend to justify harsh or even illegal acts as beneficial for our own security. According to George Orwell: We push of something like the indiscriminate bombing of villages as pacification: Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Again, we need to come back to philosophical argumentsis bombing ethical, even if for our own interests? What does this say about America to other countries and to the public? As a thoughtful public, we need to be able to cut through both rhetoric and simplifying euphemismsboth are equally dangerous.

Now, we look at the third proposition, that a more thoughtful public must not only be created and sustained, but, given that things inevitably fall apart, must be recovered and reconstituted. Thoughtful publics will fall apart if the above conditions of a thoughtful public are not met. If it falls apart, as it probably will over time, we need to work to reconstitute and sustain the public. I look at two publics that have fallen apart: one described by Tocqueville and one by the Grand Inquisitorthey can both easily occur today if we are not vigilant. Tocqueville describes a soft despotic state as one that democracies should fear. Despots will use power arbitrarily, but democratic governments would be fatherly and ask the public to turn over its liberties to secure the general happiness and equality. If people grant the government too much power, it would slowly control the petty aspects of peoples lives with the promise that they can change it through voting. It does not break mens will, but softens, bends, and guides itit is not at all tyrannical, but it hinders, restrains, enervates, stifles, and stultifies so much that in the end each nation is no more than a flock of timid and hardworking animals with the government as its shepherd. We would be powerless to change our condition without even realizing it. I read this with a little skepticism. Tocqueville says the American condition is to always improve yourself, strive to change your condition, and to strive for equality of opportunity. He sees restlessness in that we like to (and can) change jobs or just move away. This definition is in sharp contrast with the sheep problem, where we simply bend to the will of the government. People may use government to secure equality, but unless we become that content with our situation, we will always yearn for improvement. Another, similar public is described by the Grand Inquisitor. In that story, Jesus Christ comes down to the earth for the first time in 1500 yearsthe people cry as he blesses them with miracles. At the same time, the Grand Inquisitor has just burned over one-hundred people as hereticsthe crowd parts out of fear and keeps silent. The GI arrests Christ and informs him that the church had taken over Christs role, and that he was no longer necessary. Instead, people did not need the freedom that Christ promised in the bible because they could not handle freedom. With freedom, humans will be rebels and destroy the status quo: including the religion of Christianity. They are better off flocking to institutions like the church that promise them bread as well as stability and order. The GI implies that the human condition is not freedom, but based on needs. People need bread, and they are willing to bow down to whoever offers the bread. Eventually, they will be dependent on these institutions, and become like Tocquevilles hardworking animals. If our government becomes an institution that the public relies on for its needs, we have a problem. The dependents will vote to keep the status quo out of self-interest without being a thoughtful public. If the thoughtful public has fallen apart, here are some bad, natural responses. These are true for both personal relationships and the relationship between leaders and the public, and tend to be the easy responses and temporary fixes. The first is to ignore the bad situation (or be unaware of it) and hope it passes. Clearly, most problems do not fix themselves, and we cannot rely on them to do so. However, I want to focus on figuring out the broader problem. After the Exxon Valdez oil spill, many people said ship captains should not be allowed to drink before a trip. Others said we needed stronger hulls so that future crashes would not result in oil spills. Both of these ignore the broader problem that we are too dependent on oil. All major oil spills raise local gas prices, cost a lot of money to clean up, and harm the natural environment. If we only needed a fraction of the oil that we

currently consume, this problem may not even exist. A thoughtful public needs to cut beyond the simple solution and get to the heart of the problem. A variant of this problem is simply removing who is seen as the problem. Every 2 years we change the makeup of the House of Representatives and expect different results. The problem is not the leadership, it is the game of politics to practice political brinksmanship over issues like the fiscal cliff. Often, leaders get blamed for problems they did not cause. From history, President Van Buren was kicked out of office even though the economic woes were caused by the very popular President Andrew Jackson closing the Bank of the United States. In either case, the leadership and public again need to look beyond the easy fix and get to the root of the problem. Another quick and easy response is to listen and sympathize with whoever was hurt. Lord Chesterfield told his son: many a man would rather you heard his story than granted his request. Though Chesterfield used this as positive advice, I think it will only hurt the trust between leaders and constituents necessary for a thoughtful public. If a leader simply listens to people and sympathizes, he is giving us no action. We may feel better in the short run (what leader wants), but we will arguably feel resentment toward the leader for not trying to fix the problem he acknowledged. This goes back to the school board making decisions after a committee of general community members crafts recommendations. The members will be happy that the school board thinks their voice is important, but they will be unhappy if the school board passes its own agenda without regard to the recommendation. By nature, if the school board creates the committee, it implies that it will follow the committees advice. Now that we looked at unhelpful fixes, lets look at better responses. In these cases, leaders have done something to re-engage and rebuild a thoughtful public. First, if a thoughtful public falls apart, the leaders need to regain the trust of the public. They need to honestly admit their mistakes and come to terms with the truth. The example in the textbook looks at Japan not admitting that it took Korean women and girls as prostitutes for their army. Japan has a lower standing in Asia than it could otherwiseon an issue that happened over 60 years ago. The public will only trust a leader if he takes responsibility for what goes wrong under his watch. If he passes the blame on, the public will have very little respect for him. I stress that this still has to be a first step, but that the repaired trust will be temporary unless the leader shows leadership in fixing the problem. Acknowledging fault implies action. Another positive would be to compromise when a thoughtful public has fallen apart due to various factions not coming to an agreement. Richard Crocker says in a society aspiring to be liberal and democratic, public deliberation expresses the commitment to respect ones fellow citizens; to engage in give-and-take, and to forge compromises with which all can live nonviolently. If people are brought to violently protesting in the streets (I look to Europe), then I think people have not had the opportunity to compromisethey are now desperate. The only way the leadership will regain legitimacy is to have a genuine conversation with the public. The last option I will discuss in sustaining a thoughtful public is using arguments based on principle. Ralph Lerner in Revolutions Revisited discusses President Lincoln before the Civil War. The country itself was gearing up for war (the public was literally ready to resort to violence), and Lincoln tried to rebuild it. He did it through arguments of our founding principles in the Declaration of Independence: all men are created equal. The founding fathers understood this as they broke away from tyranny, but after the cards were flipped so that we were on top oppressing the slaves, we disregarded our own principles. Concession was also supposed to be an American value, but Congress ignored it when it threw out the Missouri Compromise. Of course,

Lincoln did eventually fail to keep the country together, but he started a revolution that would last 100 years. Eventually, we did heal the thoughtful public over this issue with the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Lincoln was not above simply praising the American public to get its attention, but his efforts left a mark in history. Lerner talks about Kalamor finding religious truth through discussion as a means that Lincoln used to find political truth. The creator of Kalam warned that these ancestral arguments could be used to mislead the public or inspire fear, so we needed to be wary of why we accept ancestral arguments (other than they are just tradition). When the public is forced to think about arguments, it is naturally a thoughtful public. Of all the arguments, I agree with this one the most. Members of a thoughtful public need to take decisions based on their own moral arguments, rather than just following the views of a leader. In this case, Lincoln was asking the public to look at slavery a different way: instead of what would be beneficial to whites, what does slavery say about us and our morals? This is very powerful, because people feel guilty for repressing liberties previous generations fought to gain for them. Obviously, moral arguments can be used to mislead as Farabi says, but the main point is that a thoughtful public thinks about morals rather than just short-term pocketbooks. The only way we can convince leaders to use this argument is to highlight that the best presidents and leaders in the world used similar arguments. The founding fathers created a set of ideals and stuck to it. Gandhi and MLK both fed off arguments of equality and freedom. They were firm in their beliefs, and that sincerity brought them consensus. All three of these ideas were for leaders to recreate a thoughtful public. However, if a society falls into the traps described by Tocqueville or the Grand Inquisitor, I think the public also has the option of restoring itself. At least a few people need to recognize that democracy and looking forward is far more important than material goods that the government may hand out (taking the bread). Then, like the despotic public, they must slowly bring people onto their side to either overthrow the government or take control through the electoral process. Now, we have the elements of a thoughtful public, the conditions necessary for a thoughtful public, and how to sustain a thoughtful public. Lets look at whether we have a thoughtful public today.

Conclusion/Do We Have a Thoughtful Public?


Given the previous conditions, the obvious answer is no, we do not have a thoughtful public. However, I conclude by looking at to what extent we have a thoughtful public. We do have the legal protections necessarythe first amendment guarantees freedom of speech and the press. Tocqueville was amazed by the postal system, which could take days to deliver mail. Now we have the internet and are only bound by the speed of light: the blogosphere, Twitter, Facebook, 24 hour news channels, online news, and much more. The speed at which we can communicate and create consensus is staggering. At least to an extent, our leaders do focus on persuasion and consensus building because they need to get reelected. However, they often fail in gaining legitimacy. The main problem appears when looking at the long term. We tend to take the short view on issues (building railroads) rather than thinking about the consequences of our decisions for generations to come. Politicians and the public do not make long term relationships necessary to sustain the thoughtful public. Leaders in general do not recognize (or choose to ignore) the ecology of their rhetoric and ethics.

However, the broader problem is that people are not aware of what it means to be a thoughtful public and a useful citizen. Until we recognize the broader problem, we will not change our condition, and we will end up with the same disconnect between leaders and the public. Only acculturating the youth in schools to be thoughtful citizens will bring about a change in the role of the public. As I mentioned in the introduction, this is very possible, but it will take work and understanding from the leaders and the current public. As I mentioned multiple times in the paper, we then need to focus on how to convince both the current and future publics to changeto become a thoughtful public rather than a persuaded audience. In my opinion, we need to go back to the alternative. If we are not a democracy, we end up as either Tocquevilles soft despotic state or just end up with tyranny. Neither of these are attractive options. Democracy does not just imply freedom; it encompasses a public that understands certain responsibilities (serving on juries, voting, etc.). If we agree that voting is important, the only way we can vote is if we are educated thoroughly on both issues including discussion. Currently, the voting rate of eligible voters is under 60% for presidential elections. That means 40% of the public is unengaged, or neglecting a duty to influence the governments policies that will affect us and future generations. Again, I maintain that schools are the best place to teach this. If we want a true democracy to function, we must have a thoughtful public. There are voices like the Grand Inquisitor, who believe people cannot handle freedom; their condition is to follow. These voices tend to be the leaders in society who have no interest in creating a thoughtful public. In Singapore, for a real world example, the government keeps the country very stable because it was historically full of chaos because of immigrants. Now, people have all freedoms than political freedom. Any opposition is put down. Many people are happy in that situation. Is that acceptable? No. It is the human condition to be free. We only give up some of our rights to the government to protect us, our property rights, and oversee the general welfare of the nation. Yet, as free people, we have the right to decide how much of our rights to give up. That is the fundamental question facing every member of a more thoughtful public.