Democracies really do come down to the education of the citizens. Without well rounded, literate for the times education citizens have a reduced set of strategies for thriving daily. This in turn leads to a reduced ability to evaluate political situations and to even understand rights.
So while it’s fun to argue about economics and whether identities matter or if the media is shit or technology has broken us etc it’s not the root.
This painful streak of politics is a long range nexus of failing education within the social fabric. Education is a multi generational challenge. And America placed bets on really bad notions of STEM that neither does relevant STEM things nor philosophy, ethics art and civics. We haven’t learned to build relevant things (stem) nor learned whether those things are good to build (liberal arts).
easy data point: we still educate ourselves and children like computers were never invented. We’re as a society still complaining about screen time. Hilariously the generations of television addicts are afraid of too much screen time. But behind that we teach STEM without the computer as the basis. We then hope a quarter or two of basic computer programming will magically turn all that STEM into magic pixie dust.
And now look at how many citizens were unable to make even the slightest distinction online of fact from propaganda. Look at how many people got their brains hacked. Look at how many citizens can’t increase their wages while the tech industry in average pays a junior employee 120k+. Look at how many american companies outsource their key tech work to every other country because Americans can’t do the work.
Then tie together the fact that our highly paid tech leaders have very immature sense of philosophy and ethics. Most of them dropped out of schooling before they had to read enough classics or interact with enough other people who aren’t just like them. Most of them read a few sci fi novels, saw dune and then thought they understood the ramifications of unfettered access to everyone’s brain.
So as you do vote. A small reminder that the long arc of justice is 100% tied to education. Fully embodied honest to goodness education. How to become a full agencied human in a complex technical climate changed world.
Oh and by the way it’s a helluva lot cheaper to have an educated citizenry than what we have now. And that’ll be clear in the coming decades.