What I Learned On My Summer Vacation

This isn’t exactly beach reading that I’m recommending, but summer is unofficially over now and it’s time to put your thinking cap back on.

This is an article that challenges some of our presumptions about democracy. There are challenges factually on a daily basis these days, but a bit of thinking about them never hurts. Actually it must hurt, because we do less and less of it.

A few highlights for those who have successfully trained themselves to be only able to read two or three hundred words at a time.

-One shouldn’t just assume that democracy is humanity’s default setting.

-Humiliation is very much a factor in human relations, but don’t assume you know how someone will deal with it.

-What a government is and what it does are things you shouldn’t put on autopilot. They matter, and they need tending.

Sometimes what you learn from an discussion is slightly different than the points argued. You may draw lessons as you see fit. I ended up worried that if people don’t feel a democracy delivers what they feel essential, it will be thrown overboard without a second thought.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog.
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