The Life Unwired with Ben Combee (unwiredben) wrote,
The Life Unwired with Ben Combee

Sarah Vowell on Democratic Guilt

I just finished reading Sarah Vowell's 2000 book "Take the Cannoli" earlier this evening, and one passage, in an essay about taking a road trip to visit the Trail of Tears, the forced migration of the Cherokee from north Georgia to Oklahoma, she had this passage which really struck a nerve:

"World history has been a bloody business from the get-go, but the nausea we're suffering standing on the broken promises of Ross's Landing is peculiar to a democracy. Because in a democracy, we're all responsible for our government's actions, because we're responsible for electing the government. Even if we, the people, don't do anything wrong, we put the wrongdoers in power."

I'll write more on the book later when I finish Chuck Klosterman's "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs" later this week, as I want to contrast the styles and content of the two books. However, my quick take is that I highly recommend Sarah's book for anyone that enjoys her audio essays on public radio's "This American Life".
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