Dear OZY Third Rail folks,
Your question dances around an even bigger, even more important situation, without actually acknowledging it and its related question:
Is it realistic to depend on our current form of democracy when its collective intelligence is undermined by dynamics like the following?
(a) There is an almost infinite number of issues, candidates and proposals – all of which are quite complex – such that no individual citizen can possibly truly understand the choices they are presented with.
(b) Both the choices and most of the information surrounding those choices are presented by polarized “sides” (as dictated by our winner-take-all majoritarian system) which reduce the actual complexity of what’s involved to soundbites.
(c) Journalistic neutrality – always a struggle – is being increasingly eroded and corrupted by the money-based power dynamics of ownership and advertising.
(d) The weakening of traditional informational “gatekeepers” and the rise of highly participatory mass media has produced a wild uproar of informational noise that drives citizens further into oversimplified “sides” or out of political conversations altogether.