The common trend we see in the online community contains one step: React. More than a handful of times I have seen posts on social media in which the person acknowledges they have not read the item they are critiquing yet immediately following that admission they proceed to provide a uniquely, and by their own admission, unqualified, analysis. Ignorance is a luxury that we as a nation, we as a global civilization, cannot afford. We ourselves cannot be afford to be ignorant, nor can we afford to allows others to continue in ignorance simply because they do not have the means to invest in education. Either the solution to this problem or the cause of the problem will be the internet. The internet provides a solution in that it enables access to a vast amount of information. However, there is virtually no filter on the quality of information online and often the effort to fact check and think critically about the information presented is time consuming and difficult. However this time and effort is what is required to maintain democracy and forward progress. Each person must synthesize their own thoughts from what they have read instead of parroting popular taglines. Contrary to what many political systems attempt to persuade us of, one does not simply decide whether they are on the right or the left. Instead one must think about each important issue and decide on that issue what they believe. Instead of a one movement reaction, we must move intentionally to inform ourselves and formulate our own ideas. This is the cost of democracy. Democracy is not guaranteed and there are certainly a multitude of people waiting to take it away. An educated and informed population refusing to buy into partisan lines must be our defense against this. Read. Think. React.