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Debate within a Democracy: Do You Believe in Our Democracy?

18 June 2020
Brian Stipak
All of us living in the United States gain some of the benefits of living in a country structured governmentally as a constitutional democracy. But observing our country today I conclude that many beneficiaries (i.e. all Americans) of that structure do not understand, or even believe in, that structure.

The essence of that structure is the protection of different groups and the provision of political means for the competition of divergent political ideas. If you believe in this, believe in democracy, that means you believe in the protection of people and beliefs different from you.

So if you are a liberal by your political beliefs, and if you believe in democracy, then you must cherish the protections our democratic system gives to those of conservative political ideas. If you are a conservative by your political beliefs, and if you believe in democracy, then you must cherish the protections our democratic system gives to those of liberal political ideas.

A democratic structure facilitates diversity of beliefs to compete in the democratic process. This contrasts to authoritarian states, typically one-party (i.e. National Socialist Party, Communist Party) in which orthodoxy becomes state-sanctioned.


So let me give you a test so you can see if you actually believe in and participate in the benefits our constitutional democracy offers you. Here is the test: Think of current political columnists, commentators, and writers who you find insightful. Name 2 conservatives, 2 liberals, and 1 middle-of-the-roader who you find insightful or stimulating.

If you are a liberal and can not name any conservatives, or if you are a conservative and can not name any liberals, then you fail this test.


I will take the test also, and here are my answers for some of my favorite columnists, commentators, and writers:

Conservative: George Will, William Kristol
Liberal: Mark Shields, Noam Chomsky
Middle-Of-The-Road: David Brooks

(If inclined, put your answers below in comments.)
Vessel Name: Ubiquity
Vessel Make/Model: Pacific Seacraft 34 sailboat, 1987, hull #67
Hailing Port: Portland, Oregon
Crew: Brian Stipak, Leslie Sawyer, sometimes others
Captain Brian Stipak typically sails with one additional crew member aboard, most commonly Leslie Sawyer. Leslie is an experienced sailor, and she sailed on most of S/V Ubiquity's 2013 Vancouver Island circumnavigation and the 2015 Haida Gwaii cruise. [...]
Home Page: http://web.pdx.edu/~stipakb/Ubiquity-Cruising.html
Ubiquity's Photos - Main
Marina Los Cabos in San Jose del Cabo, Sailing west of Cabo Falso, Canal de Cerrlavo, Playa Bonanza, La Paz, loading S/V Ubiquity on freighter
88 Photos
Created 25 April 2018
Shows the “ghost town” of empty boulevards built by the government in Puerto Escondido, ashore on Isla San Juan, sailing south to La Paz, and several photos in La Paz, March 2018.
55 Photos
Created 23 March 2018
Santa Rosalia, Whale Watching, Isla Carmen including the Abandoned Salt Mine and Town at Salinas, March 2018
116 Photos
Created 20 March 2018
Midriff Islands, and the Bahia de Los Angeles area
48 Photos
Created 19 March 2018
Marina San Carlos, Marina Seca, Exploring the San Carlos Area, 2017, 2018
41 Photos
Created 19 February 2018
Cruising north in the Sea of Cortez from La Paz to Santa Rosalia. Then crossing the Sea to Bahia San Pedro, before arriving at Marina San Carlos, north of Guaymus, Sonora, Mexico. We hauled S/V Ubiquity at San Carlos for storage at the Marina Seca on-land storage facility for the summer.
119 Photos
Created 24 August 2017
Cruising in the La Paz area, Spring 2017. El Cardoncito, San Evaristo, Isle San Francisco, Playa Bonanza
94 Photos
Created 3 April 2017
34 Photos
Created 13 January 2017
13 Photos
Created 8 January 2017
October 7-9, 2016 get-together of friends in Cathlamet, Washinton. Photos show the kids in the group having fun.
6 Photos
Created 13 October 2016