Thursday, November 13, 2003

Re: The Will of the People

I am torn on this issue more than any other. To me this debate encapsulates a host of issues related to paternalism versus populism. I do not know how to appropriately address the balance between the will of the people and the--well, will of the people. I trust the ideals of populism but I also recognize its natural deficits.

At the end of the day, the Jeffersonian idea that the power should rest with the people sits most comfortably with me. At the same time, I openly recognize that people don't always make the best choices given the information they have. For some reason, though, it seems more palatable to me that the people should err than the government in its attempt to correct for the errs of its constituents. At least the error does not run twice as deep, and it can not be so plainly coopted for nefarious goals. I can forgive an err of the public, but I can not so easily forgive the same of the republic.

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