Curiosity Is Critical For Our Democracy

Curiosity killed the cat

An old proverb warns that, “Curiosity killed the cat.” It’s a warning to not meddle or overwork or over-investigate so much that the subject is destroyed. It continues with, “…and satisfaction brought it back.” A cat, having nine lives, can be brought back to life if it satisfies its curiosity.

012418 curiosity cat

The add-on prompts those who have little curiosity. It’s especially true about politics. People find shortcuts instead of nurturing healthy inquiry and a dose of critical thinking. A political news piece dredges up quick questions of: “Who said that?” and “To which political party do they belong?” Truth and consequences don’t hold much sway. The political back-and-forth noise we hear becomes a distraction.

Curiosity, facts, and critical thinking

Our government was shut down over the weekend. Meanwhile, women marched to protest Trump, support the #MeToo moment, and to encourage women to become leaders. There is much to sort out with so many voices and so many points-of-view. All of this underscores the need for curiosity.

These events are not just entertainment. They’re not just news spots that we can easily skip over without raising interest. They raise questions and awareness and our own curiosity. Curiosity causes us to do more than just find blame or to take sides (though we do that). It turns us into a more informed citizenry.

012418 Educated Citizenry

Thomas Jefferson was concerned about how well informed we citizens would be. He said, “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” Perhaps, too, he was concerned about our levels of curiosity. He realized that information (facts, for example) combined with solid critical thinking was the stuff that holds this democracy together.

Does your curiosity keep you well informed?

Curiosity causes us to be politically informed. We need to step out of our comfort zones and listen to what “the other side” might be saying, and, especially why they say what they do. Curiosity is needed. We need to get our news from multiple sources. We need to listen to political pundits whose views don’t agree with our own. Today, we’re fortunate. Political curiosity is easier to nurture during times like these. It is easier to be among the educated citizenry!

Since you’re reading this, I hope you’re also curious about what I’m promoting via Equal Voice Voting. It’s truly nonpartisan and asks that we welcome the voting voice of every voter.

For example, I’ve pointed out that the Electoral College is a genius construct in our political machinery. I’ve also pointed out that the winner-takes-all approach (not a true Electoral College element) is the true culprit. Are you curious about these points?

Is your curiosity challenged when I point out that the National Popular Vote bill threatens our democracy? Is your curiosity moved enough with the awareness of how close the 2016 election was to share the point with others?

Curiosity makes legislation happen

The incurious say that there’s really not much they can do regarding politics. I get that because, after all, we’re busy and ill informed and powerless. Well… we are if we believe we are. This incurious perspective fosters complacency, which is a close cousin of apathy.

Here’s the thing (in case you’re curious). Nothing happens until we are aware of what’s going on. Nothing happens until we talk with others about what has caught our attention. Such awareness and conversation drives persuasion and action and votes! Then, generated from a few who have curiosity, legislation occurs. It’s a slow process and a sometimes-messy one but that’s democracy. Are you curious to learn more? Will your curiosity change anything?

Equal Voice Voting should make you curious

Equal Voice Voting is not a shiny and sexy thing. It’s not an immediate concern for some. Last year I spoke with a leading senator from my state. He said we have another four years to think about solving the presidential election problem. He wasn’t very curious.

The incurious say the voting “thing” is too complicated. It’s not complicated and it’s not hard to talk about and it’s not hard to change. Equal Voice Voting promises that every vote counts and every state matters. Each state can adopt it without a Constitutional amendment. It honors the Electoral College and allows that genius system to serve us as it was intended.

Curiosity outwits apathy.

It’s easy to understand if you want to understand. You can make a difference if you want your vote to count. Become aware and talk with others and encourage your legislators to make every vote count in your state when we elect our president.

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