Balance needed in democracy
It appears to me that maintaining a healthy democracy is much like balancing yourself on a beam, where multiple forces can drive you off. The two factors it seems to me for a healthy democracy are balancing the maintenance of a policy promoting the common good for all, and promoting individual freedom to act and do what and how you like.
This is basically finding the balance between a regulated country and a totally unregulated one. The problems with an overregulated society is economic stagnation, suppression, enforced conformity and, ultimately, rebellion, to name a few. The problems with an unregulated country are public and individual safety and fairness, environmental destruction, scapegoating, and a progressive concentration of wealth and power, to name a few. The key to democratic governance is to understand the above factors and aggressively seek a true balance.
The values of a democracy, I believe, include respect for minority views and protection of different cultures, dialects and looks; finding a compatible and fair middle ground; understanding the needs for quality of life for all economic and ethnic groups; seeing real value in differences; and finding the shared desire to be one country (true tolerance).
In today’s country, I don’t see an understanding of a balance noted above, or a real effort to further our democratic values.