“Democracy Dies in Darkness” is the new tagline of The Washington Post, now found under the masthead. It’s being lauded as a wonderful brand idea. I must agree. It’s poetic, memorable and few papers can wear it as can The Washington Post. Bravo.
Critics might say it’s a little generic. Not exclusive. But this isn’t the Amityville Record we’re talking about it’s one of the top two or so newspaper brands in the U.S. One famous for breaking stories from the darkness.
When I think about the word democracy these days, the tweak toward president Trump that is this new tagline makes me wonder about the roots of the words democrat and republican. Is a republic different from a democracy?
The dictionary suggests a republic is “a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.” The latter part of the definition “chosen indirectly” by them, may set a republic apart from a democracy.
This tagline positions democracy a left leaning concept, then, which most people will agree is a foundational paper POV. As smart as the tagline is, I’d hope we don’t begin to politicize the word democracy as a blue concept. Nice tagline. I hope it doesn’t create a hint of darkness on its own.