David Winston’s column in the Aug. 18 Dothan Eagle, “When we stop talking to each other, democracy dies in silence,” brings up some very valid points but also shows some ignorance of our political system. I am completely surprised that the author (David Winston) continually uses the word “democracy” to describe our system of government. I’m surprised because the footnote of his background states “David Winston is the president of The Winston Group and a longtime adviser to congressional Republicans. He previously served as the director of planning for Speaker Newt Gingrich.”

Speaker Gingrich is a college professor of History. As such I would have expected some of the speaker’s knowledge of our republic to rub off on Mr. Winston. Beginning with the word “democracy” in the heading he uses the word “democracy” throughout the article and uses the word “republic” only once that I could see. Shame on Mr. Winston!

His point of our citizens being able to speak freely without the fear of retribution from the politically correct crowd is well taken. We do need to get back to civility instead of the childish darts that seem to be the mood of the day.

My major concern with Mr. Winston’s overuse of the word “democracy” is that it reinforces the misconception that adults and students share that our form of government is a democracy. We do not live in a democracy! Shout it from the housetops -- WE LIVE IN A REPRESENTATIVE REPUBLIC, not a democracy! He would have been more correct if he had said that freedom dies in silence. Mr. Winston should have learned this from the speaker.

Judi Jay


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