Good Job, Athenians!

For a month now, Costco has been decorated for Christmas.  Election signs have been up on lawns so long they are falling over.  We do get our licks in early.

Trouble with the Christmas stuff is, I don’t have the money to buy all that, and no one I know needs it anyway.  Trouble with the election signs is, it’s nothing but empty words.  Too bad no one asks my opinion, then really listens to my answers.  Mine and yours, too.

Actually, that’s a suggestion being tested by James Fishkin, a professor at Stanford University.  He heads up a team that’s working on an updated idea from ancient Athens where citizens were chosen at random (called the kleroterion), versed in the possibilities and concerns of the state, then were empowered to make major decisions for the politicians. 

I like it.  I know my husband Dan will, too, because he has long been advocating the representative-group-of-real-folks-showing-political-pros-how-it’s-done.

“Despite what you see and read, this is not a nation of extremists,” Professor Fishkin insists.  “What you see on TV, and in most polling, is an impersonation of public opinion.  The actual public isn’t really like that, especially when it is given something more than sound bites and distorted political messaging.  If you give people real choices and real consequences, they will make real decisions.”

Nope, I’m not talking Tea Party here.  I’m talking all of us.  Democrats and Republicans and Independent, too. 

Give us a real say, politicians.  Then stop posturing and lecturing long enough to really listen to us!

The Christmas decorations are already up and election signs are falling down.  Come on, Professor Fishkin, we need you now!

“People are tired of the elites telling them what to do.”

Professor James Fishkin

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