One can clearly see that most, if not all, of the divergent strands of Democracy in America come together when examining the relationship between freedom and equality in society. Above all, Tocqueville has a passionate love for liberty and is concerned to point out the dangerous trends that threaten to destroy it as well as the means by which it can be preserved. In the last few lines of the book, Tocqueville writes, "The nations of our day cannot prevent conditions of equality from spreading in their midst. But it depends upon themselves whether equality is to lead to servitude or freedom, knowledge or barbarism, prosperity or wretchedness." Tocqueville's hope is that through the insights he has communicated in this work, humanity will be better able direct themselves toward freedom, knowledge and prosperity.
AMY GOODMAN : We’re going to go to break, and when we come back, I want to talk to you more about your book, an astonishing book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America , and the people you profile in this, from President Thomas Jefferson to . Du Bois, from Angela Davis to Cotton Mather. You go back through history and look at the future. We’re talking to historian Ibram X. Kendi, professor of history and international relations and founding director of the Anti-Racist Research and Policy Center at American University. His book won the National Book Award. This is Democracy Now! Back in a minute.
There are no longer any voter-qualification impediments to democracy in the United States. But many have noted that the will of the people has tended not to prevail, and that a majority of people eligible to vote are so discouraged that they do not vote. The main reason for this is the buying and selling of elections and politicians by the wealthier class of citizens and their special interest groups. A year or more before elections take place, the winner is decided by those who vote with dollars. But this is a defect in democracy, not a reason to abandon it. The answer is to cure the defect, not to attempt to destroy our representative democracy.