Arianna Huffington recently spoke before the Yale Political Union at a debate around the question, "Resolved: Blogs Are Good For Democracy." While Arianna argued that blogs support democracy inasmuch as bloggers can challenge conventional wisdom — a cornerstone of American democracy going as far back as Thomas Paine — the students in the Yale Political Union engaged in a spirited debate about the role blogs and bloggers play in a democratic society. The resolution passed, 33-22.
In honor of that debate, and to bring that dialogue to the Huffington Post, we have featured four students' speeches from that night.
Fernando Reyes' post, Blogging Towards A Digital Democracy, highlights "the real possibility that individuals that have been empowered now have the tools to break through the ignorance that is possible by physical separation."
Kate Maltby's post, Why Blogs Are Bad For Democracy, argues that "the deeply personal nature of blogs, in combination with the echo chamber effect, has fueled the rise of single issue campaigning," which inherently hurts our democracy.
David Broockman discusses the Left's intellectual tradition of deconstructing complex issues but argues that "Blogs Trample On Leftist Traditions" in his post.
And Leah Anthony Libresco argues that "blogs do improve democracy, not by giving the authors a forum to express their ideas, but by giving ordinary citizens access to the ideas they care most about" in her post, titled, "A Well-Informed Citizenry, Being Necessary To The Liberty Of A Free State..."
Please read the students' posts and share your thoughts in the comments.