How would a longview democracy be different from what we have today? Here are six practices that we could expect to see–
- During election campaigns, voters would demand that politicians explain how their plans will promote a healthy democracy and the well-being of children–now and into the future.
- Citizens would band together to apply a two decade perspective to proposed policies, then educate and lobby about them. Congress and state legislatures might join this effort by funding non-partisan bureaus to do the same type of research.
- Some of these groups might survey teens and form advisory bodies of older children to hear, understand and publicize their aspirations and fears.
- Because the future is unpredictable, we would ensure that all children have good educations, nutrition, healthcare and resources in the short term so they have the resilience to deal with whatever the future brings.
- We would motivate our young people to become engaged citizens who take seriously their responsibility to educate themselves on public issues, vote, and speak out.
- Because the future is uncertain, voters would select candidates who are skillful, flexible and open-minded in their approach to emerging issues, not those tied to rigid ideologies.
How could American democracy evolve to a longview democracy? The silver bullet may be to simply start asking, “How will this affect our children (or grandchildren) when they become adults?” It is a simple question that can be asked about any proposed policy, law, or budget at any level of government. Today, most politicians will not have an honest answer because they have not thought about it. The more we ask, the more they will think about it. Those who come up with the best answers stand to win the loyalty of parents, grandparents, big brothers, big sisters, and the 4 million potential voters who turn 18 each year. That is something for them to think about.
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