Time Essay: A New Distrust of the Experts

"Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government." Thomas Jefferson's axiom remains an indispensable premise of democracy. Yet the possibility of a sage and knowing public seems to be growing ever more elusive. Since the rise of science and technology as the commanding force in both government and social change, it has become harder and harder for most Americans to become really well informed on the problems they face as individuals or citizens. Such a trend is bound to raise questions about the future of popular rule....

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