Political Philosophy of the Day: June 27, 2019

Where to start? Let the light in, that’s where I’d start. By that I mean that, in a government of “We the people…”, we the people need to know what is going on. Why should the people who represent us have access to information that we don’t have? Why should people doing public work have meetings that are closed to us? Why should information be classified and withheld from us? Why should our government be doing things in secret? How can we make informed judgments when we are uninformed.

One thing that history teaches us is that the people in positions of leadership can be as ignorant and misguided as any of us. We have elected them to do our business, and we should keep a close eye on them as they do it. For those of us who lived through the sorry mess of the Vietnamese war and for all of us who have watched the quagmires and debacles of the variety of military operations since then, does anyone doubt that “ordinary” citizens could have made better choices than many of those that have been made by our political leadership—whatever the party! And how many of those decisions have been made in secret? And how many of those decisions have been justified with lies and deceptions?

Free and public debate about all issues should be at the heart of our representative democracy. Access to information about what our government does should be open to all.