in a Philly pub, 1776
"George, John, Ben! Have a seat my comrades!"
"Thanks Tom, old friend!"
"Well, we have our work cut out for us, this sovereign nation business is taxing!"
"Ha, good one Ben!"
"Tom, now tell your friends here what you told me, about these worrisome prophesies in your sleep at night"
"well, John, I don't know how much weight to give to these hauntings....probably a piece of undigested venison"
"tell us Thomas.....what troubles you?"
"well, men, we sit here planning the course for a new nation....creating laws to govern well into the future, as a representative democracy....."
"yes, a democracy! Nothing like that under the crown!"
"George, hush, listen to Tom"
"Thanks Ben....you always were the smart one. Well, suppose 200 years from now the men of this country become desperately ignorant, void of the ability to wisely choose their representation?"
"Tom! We are men of the enlightenment! We shall only see more wisdom and thoughtfulness given to casting a ballot for representation."
"well, maybe, John, maybe. But, let us ponder this: what if men of vast fortune wish to sway voters with continuous, misleading propaganda!"
"what, through courier? through the printed page? Hardly an effective way to reach masses"
"True, but what if technology increases to where information is readily available to all our citizenry?"
"what is technology?"
"Ben, it's like the thing you did with the key & lightning"
"oh, of course George"
"yeah, who's the smart one now?"
"well, but Tom, surely with this tremendous exchange of readily available information, the public will only have their appetite increased for information, to be fully aware of the things that shall affect their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness!"
"you had to throw that in there, didn't you John? I happen to like that phrase! What if the citizenry become apathetic? What if they buy lies spread through propaganda by elitists?
"Tom, you worry for nothing. Good men of good integrity-only those are worthy to serve this democracy.....this government of and by the people.....men with this character would never allow lies to be told"
"Ben, I want to believe that......but it haunts me. The Romans-leisure and apathy brought down their empire.......surely we are not above this!"
"well, they also began to believe that their empire was holy, that what they did in the name of God was perfectly righteous. We don't believe this!"
"No, George, WE do not believe this, but will there come a day when the Almighty is invoked with our actions? Such as a manifest destiny of this nation?"
"hardly possible with the great range of religion we see from commonwealth to commonwealth"
"Men, we have done all that we can do. We must rely on the character of men and the guiding arm of our Creator to lead this nation during transitions. Thoughtful men will see through the magic of deceptive lies."
"I hope that you are right John. Suppose if not, how long do you give this experiment in democracy?"
"200 years......plus or minus. Remember patriotism is the last great hiding place for scoundrels, but no doubt, people will also see through this."