Sunday, October 9, 2016

Caucus is an American word.

...And so it turns out that CAUCUS is a truly American word, properly borrowed by immigrants from natives, a democratic word in a time when a working democracy was not yet even a working idea. This was a term which the American republic of the early l9th century was quick to turn into political operation and would never relinquish as useless or obsolete. It may be that the present caucus as precursor for part elections is not necessary, but the notion that discussion on every level is profitable, is in the end quite necessary, and a good safeguard against voting rights being hurried through the polls without sufficient warning. The right to associate and discuss is at the heart of any democratic process, and if do we end up associating overly and talking endlessly, that will be the price of democracy, and the inefficient minor segment of a larger process which does by its essence and importance require endless talk and endless consideration.

William Harris
Prof. Em. Middlebury College

No comments: