Alexis de Tocqueville marveled at how much knowledge the American government assumes and requires on the part of citizens:
The federal system rests on a complicated theory which, in application, demands that the governed should use the lights of their reason every day. . . .
When one examines the Constitution of the United States, . . . it is frightening to see how much diverse knowledge and discernment it assumes on the part of the governed. (Democracy in America, Tr. George Lawrence. Garden City, NY: Anchor-Doubleday, 1969, p. 164.)
Knowledge is necessary but not sufficient. One must say and do — which in politics and government are sometimes, but not always, the same.
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