To the Editor:
Re “As Candidates Speak in France, the Meter Is Running” (Memo From Paris, March 8): The French have much to teach us about running a democracy.
Too many Americans have been taught that participation in our government — outside one day of voting each cycle — is limited to giving or soliciting money. But proper democracy requires that all of us engage in discussing the issues of our day.
The moment in the voting booth is only the culmination of that long process. In 2012, political discussion in the United States has been usurped by the corporate noise machine. Real issues (campaign finance reform, prosecuting torture, America’s role as cop of the world) can’t even get into the media.
This is not the America our founding fathers staked their lives on. If the French have a better idea of how to embody our shared revolutionary ideals, we should sneer less and attend more.
Lafayette, Calif., March 8, 2012