Ignorance Will Kill Democracy

Portrait of Former Supreme Court Justice David Souter
Former Supreme Court Justice David Souter

Former Supreme Court Justice David Souter pointed out the problem with civic ignorance and the rise of someone like Donald Trump who claims he alone can fix what’s wrong in the country. Souter mentioned this issue in 2012.

Civic ignorance is a public not knowing how government works. This happens by public schools cutting civics classes and others not being interested in politics.

Souter said:

You can’t keep it in ignorance. I don’t worry about our losing republican government in the United States because I’m afraid of a foreign invasion. I don’t worry about it because I think there is going to be a coup by the military as has happened in some other places.

What I worry about is that when problems are not addressed, people will not know who is responsible. And when the problems get bad enough, as they might do, for example, with another serious terrorist attack, as they might do with another financial meltdown, some one person will come forward and say, “Give me total power and I will solve this problem.”

Justice David Souter On Civic Ignorance: ‘That Is How Democracy Dies’

He is describing pretty much a Trump campaign promise.

The scary part is that Justice Souter described someone like Trump back in 2012.