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Reader Opinion: Coming home to America

We use the word "democracy" so easily, nearly forgetting what it means and what it meant to this nation. It is about self-determination, having a voice in the decisions and directions of the country and therefore your own life and the lives of lo...

We use the word "democracy" so easily, nearly forgetting what it means and what it meant to this nation. It is about self-determination, having a voice in the decisions and directions of the country and therefore your own life and the lives of loved ones.

It cannot be reduced to the simple act of voting since we know of countries, now and in the past, which have had elections but are dictatorships or authoritarian nations. We know of the domestic shenanigans that have accompanied many of our elections-gerrymandering, hacking voting machines, purging voter rolls and limiting which citizens can vote.

Democracy is a broader and richer idea. It is an idea of citizen participation in the fabric of the nation on a day-to-day basis. It is not about wealth or status, and when that becomes a factor we begin to tear the fabric of our democracy.

The idea behind democracy is to focus on the health and wellbeing of the society. It is about everyone understanding that they are valued as an important part of the social fabric that makes a healthy society work as an inclusive and cooperative unit. When people only support democracy as long as it helps them, personally, become successful but then withdraw their support for others who are not yet there or who are not capable of that kind of success, we have lost the heart of democracy.

Those who fought in our wars and those who have worked hard in so many other ways to keep that dream alive are most often the ordinary people we all know who have hope for their futures that can only exist within an inclusive and functioning democracy.

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It is time to come home to the real America, rewarding their faith and renewing our democratic heritage.

Bob Passi

Baxter

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