Democracy is one of those rubbery words. We kinda know what it means. But do we really? It’s voting and elections, but it’s much, much more than that. Democracy has inspired The Velvet Revolution and the Arab Spring. It encouraged the Suffragists and the Civil Rights Movement. It stirred the hearts of men like Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. But it seems in many ways we still don’t know what democracy means. Truly means.
When your country doesn’t live up to its own values, what do you do? Put your head under the covers or man the barricades? Fighting for freedom means different things to different people. In this hour, we talk with some of them -- from Wikileaks’ controversial founder Julian Assange, to the first Tea Party activist, to the influential media duo of Cornel West and Tavis Smiley. What do they all have in common? They’re Demanding Democracy.
Some people put their bodies on the line for democracy. Some pick up weapons. And some put pen to paper. Writers who use their gifts to speak truth to power have a special place in the annals of literature. We revere them for their conscience and their courage. We'll talk with some of the world’s most celebrated writers talk with us about the literature of democracy. Including and interview with the poet in blue jeans, the dissident playwright who inspired the Velvet Revolution that overthrew the Soviet Union. Vaclav Havel, the former president of the Czech Republic, may have recently passed away, but his ideas live on.
Before there was Wikipedia… Before there was Facebook and Twitter… there was Ward Cunningham. The computer programmer who invented the first wiki, back in 1995. Cunningham also did something even more radical – he didn’t patent his invention. He passed up billions of dollars of potential revenue. Why? Because he believed the internet needed to be more democratic. How do you live your democratic ideals?
Whose democracy is it? Who gets to participate and who gets left out? Political influence is bought and sold these days and more and more Americans are opting out. How do we deal with the tensions of Democracy? In this program we hear answers from poets and theologians, jazz musicians and exiled dictators.