Most Americans practice Democracy the same way many Christians practice their faith; as minimally as possible. They show up once a year and simply go through the motions, thoroughly convinced that it is enough. And when things do not turn out the way they want, they blame everyone and everything but themselves.
“It is not my fault, I voted for the other candidate,” is as inane a statement as, “I shouldn’t be be in Hell, I went to church every Christmas.”
A religion is a lifestyle choice, a culture, and the practice of one should affect every aspect of a person’s conscious life. It includes how we think, express ourselves, and communicate; how we treat our friends, family, and strangers; and how we engage and resolve our conflicts. These things are not taught in our churches, temple, mosques, or schools, but in our households and on the streets of our communities.
For a democracy to succeed, democracy must become a religion. All people of a democratic nation must practice it with the daily devotion of a devout and fully committed practitioner of any other faith. They must build daily routines, rites, and rituals that guide how they process their thoughts, express their individuality, communicate, spend and save money, and resolve conflicts. They must constantly train, retrain, and maintain their ability to research an issue, compose a complex argument, and engage in serious debate. They must also be willing to make sacrifices for their vision of a future society and a greater good. And, most importantly, they must nurture, teach, and mentor their children to do these things naturally as well.
I am not suggesting that a religion of democracy replace other religions, but rather to add a layer. Because without this devotion and commitment, any democracy will quickly develop a ruling class that abolishes the idea of majority rule.