Democracy is not simply a historical phenomenon but an evolving concept and institution that affect our lives and future. Just as democracy rose and fell in the past, there is no guarantee that it will sustain and thrive. If anyone is tempted to take democracy for granted, one should be reminded that in the over 1,800 years between the Roman and the American Republics, autocratic rule was the norm. Generations came and went not knowing that people might exercise power.
American democracy is under stress that will likely intensify in the remainder of the 21st century. In response, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences launched the project Our Common Purpose to identify problems and invent solutions. We will read two sections from its report, The Challenges (Links to an external site.) and Overview of Strategies and Recommendations. (Links to an external site.) They should also inform you when you think about your position in the Mock Constitutional Convention.
Do you agree with the diagnosis and proposed solutions of Our Common Purpose? How would you fix American democracy? What do you think of democracy? What role do you plan to play in it? What role do you want democracy to play in your life?
The Challenges, Our Common Purpose <https://www.amacad.org/ourcommonpurpose/report/section/4 (Links to an external site.)>.
Overview of Strategies and Recommendations, <https://www.amacad.org/ourcommonpurpose/report/section/3 (Links to an external site.)>.