Whatever your views or opinions are on democracy, I hope that this class will provide you a better understanding of our system of government and encourage you to be an active and meaningful participant. Far too many times I hear students gripe about “The System” or complain about how they hate politics. While there may be good reason to gripe about “The System” or for hating politics, I usually find that most people gripe about, or hate things, that they do not understand.
The meaning of democracy may be something different from person to person. Most people don’t take time to analyze it; rather they are content with having a general understanding and accept it without really caring much about it. On the other hand, there are those who are not too pleased with our system of democracy and are forever looking for ways to improve it.
As we shall see, the system of democracy most benefits those who know how to use it. If you are of the opinion that “politics sucks” or democracy doesn’t work the way it should, the remedy is not to criticize it and do nothing, instead the remedy is to get more involved and help make it better. Before we come to that point however, let’s take a little time to understand it.
As most students know, the United States did not invent Democracy. Democracy has its roots all the way back to ancient Greece. The word “Democracy” comes from “Demos” (the People) and “Kratia” (authority or rule). As Americans we take it for granted that “The People” have a right to participate in governing, but history will show that the average person has not had many rights; let alone an ability to participate in the decision-making process. With the recent revolutions and protest for democracy in the Middle East and Northern Africa, we Americans should learn to appreciate what we have, while also continuing to strive to improve our democracy. With the power to instantly mobilize the masses with the internet, social...