Restoring Common Sense to the Democratic Republic that is the United States of America
Common Sense isn’t so common anymore, it seems. Multiculturalism im particular brings to America a wealth of backgrounds and ideas. Unfortunately, it also brings with it a variance of opinions on what constitutes a problem and how to solve it. Consensus building is difficult in this day and age.
The New Common Sense
So what is common sense in America today? In the 1200’s it was common sense that the Earth was flat. Eventually word got out, though, that its roundness had been proven beyond a doubt and as a result the new common sense is that Earth is round. In the 1920’s there were commonsense solutions to daily problems – like washing clothes in a bucket on a washboard. How many people today truly still know how to do this? It’s common sense no more – now it’s a curiosity. Now, it’s common sense that if you need a phone number you can search for it on Google. Or is it?
The mistake of assuming people know things
People who have spent time teaching know that one of the worst errors that they can make is to assume the learner knows some particular set of knowledge when that isn’t the case. In America today, it seems like that is happening more and more often – some people spend their time in the real-time news cycle and others go about their business unaware of the depth of the challenges facing the country today, and the possible resolutions.
Bringing America to a consensus
Education, then, seems to be the key. No one person knows everything, no one ideology reigns supreme. However, facts are persistent things, and many of the debates that rage on are easily seen to be perpetuated by a lack of facts on either side. Discussions often break down into namecalling and ad hominem attacks instead of conversations that advance solutions and further the goals we share as Americans. This experiment in common sense aims to educate and inspire people to discuss topics they care about and to help us work together to identify and fix problems.
So how does that work?
Well, one observation that could be made about the nature of online discussions today is that there is not even consensus on what problems exist much less how to solve them. By providing somewhere for us to look at each of the areas that affect us across the country, we hope to get people working together to decide what most needs attention, what kinds of resources it should have and the best ways to move forward.
Remember, we are the government
The government is us! Just particular us who happened to get elected or hired into a certain role. But we decided what roles exist, we decided through those elected officials what projects to undertake, and theoretically we decided through those elected officials how to spend our tax dollars. If we do this right and enough people participate, we can provide a place our elected officials can come to see what the public believes should happen in a given scenario and factor that into their decision making process.
Stay tuned – there is a lot more to come. If you have a suggestion on a feature you’d like to see