We live in uncertain times, an era in which our country’s most iconic institutions are being tested and shaken – maybe none more so than democracy itself. It’s incumbent upon all of us to work together to preserve this essential foundation, so each and every fellow citizen can be represented. How do we save democracy and ensure everyone has a voice? Shut up, so I can tell you.

Our great nation was founded on the idea that common people should guide the country together. It was expressly designed to prevent rule by dictators and autocrats, but those strongmen types are now ascendant. We can’t allow them to silence us, especially me. My opinion is the only one that can save us from tyrannical egomaniacs.

Callous elites like them are a threat to less powerful populations, particularly poor and working-class communities who those elitists look down upon, so shut your yaps and listen up, because I’m an expert in this area. I went to Yale.

First off, we need to prevent large groups of people from getting too much power if they’re going to use it wrong. When the majority makes bad choices, that’s the definition of dictatorship. If that majority makes an incorrect decision, specifically a decision I disagree with, we need to undermine that majority rule by force, if necessary. That’s democracy.

Also, it’s imperative we resist. Resist what, you ask? How about you resist asking questions until I’m finished?

At Yale, I had a course on being someone who didn’t go to Yale, so I understand why this might be a little harder for you. That’s why I’m asking you to trust me and be quiet, so I can explain to you why your voices deserve to be heard.

We must protect our ability to speak for ourselves, but how? Seriously, put a cork in it. That was a rhetorical question. This isn’t democracy-by-committee.

God, this would be so much easier if you all just did shared government my way! I know how to save our system of everyone being counted. Why do you insist on chiming in with your two cents!? I didn’t get into public service because I wanted a bunch of suggestions from the peanut gallery.

I don’t need your help. I’ve got this figured out. Sit down, shut up, and maybe you’ll learn something about participatory government. I know more than you about equal representation, so I count more. Or maybe you also were the Whiffenpoof singer who won the award for “Best A Cappella Rendition of the First Amendment.” No? Then, stuff it.

I could do this so much faster on my own. Seriously, if I just had all the power, I’d have democracy saved in no time. I’d create a utopia of free expression and crush everyone who felt otherwise.

History provides some interesting cherry-picked parallels for you to support me. “When thou democracy is in Peril, give unchecked authority to a person who seems likable,” wrote Thomas Jefferson, I think. I don’t really know, because I’m just a regular Joe you could have a beer with.

Clearly, the only way to prevent totalitarianism is to give me absolute, unrivaled control. I’ll be a champion of democracy and destroy anyone who disagrees. When it comes to civil liberties, there’s no room for dissent.

And when, as your omnipotent ruler, I alone have finally safeguarded self-government by the people, I’ll rest easy in the gold-plated pyramid shrine deifying my divine accomplishments as just another member of this community of equals.

Building our egalitarian paradise might require some sacrifice, especially from the slaves constructing my pyramid, but it will be worth it, because democracy is worth it. We might have our differences, but we should all be able to agree that everyone’s voice has value.

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