Americans Don’t Know Frack
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  • gerald

    For those needing help with the Battlestar Galactica reference: In the original series, the cuss-word of choice was “frack”. if one takes into account that the noun “daggit” referred to what we call a dog, then the phonetic original from which “frack” drifted can be deduced…

  • Corlyss

    “That the majority of respondents didn’t know anything about fracking (or at least anything relevant) isn’t necessarily surprising, but it does say something about the debate surrounding it.”
    The voters’ chronic condition. The Republic was founded on the principle of a vote lodged safely in the hands of people who would not sleep on their freedoms or their obligations to be informed. Now that we have universal suffrage, we are plagued with universal ignorance about public policy issues of the utmost importance. There’s no solution to this problem either, apparently.

    • tarentius

      The Republic was founded on the principle that it was up to the States to decide who could vote. Some states had popular votes and some had property requirements. This idea that the Republic was “founded on the principle of a vote lodged safely in the hands of people who would not sleep on their freedoms or their obligations to be informed” is spun out of whole cloth and reflects a total unfamiliarity with American history.

      • Corlyss

        Beg to differ. An informed public underlay their insistence on a free press; their expectation was that only educated property-owners, i.e., people with legitimate interests to protect (as opposed to unlettered, no-account, propertyless rabble who could vote themselves the money out of the general treasury), would ever hold the franchise.

        • tarentius

          Absolute misreading of American history. The purpose of a free press was not to have an “informed public”, whatever that is, but to provide an avenue to confront government that was not to be trusted. There’s a significant difference. You make the mistake of looking back through time at history instead of doing what good historians do and that is to present the time as it appeared to its contemporaries. There was tremendous diversity and differences in the political viewpoints amongst the thirteen original colonies (states). And there were significant differences in electoral systems and qualifications for office. The Constitution gave the states the right to determine who could vote. Explicit in that provision was the expectation that states would move to abolish property qualifications to vote.
          The actual history is a lot more complicated than your eighth grade civic class view of it.

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