Peter Suderman has another provocative essay at Culture 11 bearing the above title, with the more interesting (and in the case of his actual essay, accurate) subtitle, “Why we care too much about politics”, in which he echoes some themes found in Ryan’s previous post on slippery slopes.
Here’s the second paragraph:
Ah, democracy! Government “of the people, by the people, for the people.” Its virtues are expounded in our nation’s schoolrooms, its greatness declared by pundits and politicians, by the elite and the average. It is the risen Christ of this nation: Upon it, all other beliefs are founded. We fight wars for it, we enact laws to preserve its purity and power, we encourage its exercise and consider it the greatest privilege of the citizenry. Our national life is built around its rhythms, and society’s character is shaped by the habits it encourages. Democracy, we are told, is the beating heart of the American project, the steady pulse of freedom — it is Everything!
And the concluding paragraph:
So vote, or don’t, but either way, don’t agonize over it, don’t raise an eyebrow at your friends and neighbors if they stay home, and don’t worry if the other side wins. Democracy will march on, endlessly entertaining, endlessly frustrating, endlessly compromised, and endlessly mediocre. American greatness has persisted not in spite, but because of this: It is not that our politics make us great; it is that they allow us to do so on our own.
Go read the whole thing.