Lowercase "D" democrat

22 Sep 2011

Anil Dash on Twitter:

Serious question: If U.S. society has decided the death penalty is just, why don’t we get called to executioner duty, as we do to jury duty?

For the same reason that you were not called to serve in the Iraq War: most of the individuals in our population are incapable of committing such an act.

I believe that it is not just our own children who are innocent. I believe that armed forces are a necessity in this global community. I believe that those nations that are able to, have an obligation to be the world’s police force. And, despite all of these beliefs, I could never be a soldier or take another life in that manner.

There is no shame in this conflict between understanding the costs of our civilization and having a willingness to pay those costs ourselves. I am a democrat and democracy does not ask that each of us commit the deeds and sins of our body politic, just that we all be equally responsible for them.

We are not called to executioner duty, because we are all, as citizens, already held accountable for the murder of one that has been deemed–by our system of governance, flawed as it may be–to be a threat to our body politic. That is how democracy works.