The Pattern of Politics: The Folkways of a Democratic People

The Pattern of Politics: The Folkways of a Democratic People

The Pattern of Politics: The Folkways of a Democratic People

The Pattern of Politics: The Folkways of a Democratic People

Excerpt

This is a book about the very crux of the democratic process. It describes the life force of our politics. If the thing I describe is sound, our democracy cannot fail; and if it is weak, we cannot long survive, even though our administrators, mechanics, machines, and roads are the finest in the world.

This is a book that had to be written, and written in my own way about the things that I think are of first importance. Some people think a different set of matters are of first importance. My wisest cousin wanted me to write about the urgent need for the short ballot in all our governmental divisions. One of my friends suggested that I prepare a tract on the comparative value of different types of road surfacing used in the more than 3000 counties in the United States.

But it is my idea that one might know the number of miles of paved and unpaved roads in the United States, the miles of concrete, macadam, asphalt, gravel roads, rubber, iron or wood block, as well as the number of miles of unimproved roads; and yet, unless he had some specialized position, he might find this knowledge of painfully limited value, to say the least. He might know the constitution of the United States and the forty-eight state constitutions; he might have briefed all the Supreme Court cases (if he were to live long enough); he might know how much lumber, pork, and wheat we produce annually; he might know the . . .

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