Fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act (1965). We’re still overcoming.

Appropriately it’s voting day here in Nashville, near ground zero for events that precipitated that historic legislation. Our mayoral race does not excite me, though I do want to see the defeat of the candidate who was stupidly quick to declare the Charleston atrocity non-racially motivated.

I am eager to vote for the elimination of several city council seats. That body is ridiculously overstaffed and underwhelming. Like the Tennessee state House and U.S. Congress.

How many of us would have voted to drop “Little Boy” on Hiroshima seventy years ago this morning? And how many would have voter’s remorse?

Would we have voted for penicillin in 1881? Or would there have been an anti-antibacterial movement?

We the people aren’t as informed or as reflective as we ought to be, as participants in popular democracy, nor are our public educational institutions adequately supported and funded to that end. Was it H.L. Mencken who said the public is an ass? It is, often enough. But the plutocracy’s a bigger one. Anyway, he was speaking publicly too.

Anti-intellectualism has always been a problem here, as Douglas Hofstadter documented. It’s his birthday too. And as Isaac Asimov said,

Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’”

Vox populi clearly does not always reflect the public interest, as old Rousseau rightly said, but it’s always in the public interest to solicit the voices of the people and start a conversation. To the polls.

6:30/5:59, 72/82

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