Support the Three Pillars of Democracy:
This means that 50% + 1 of the people get to decide. In a representative democracy, this means that a majority of citizens get to choose our leaders, while every citizen’s voice has equal weight – the principle of one man, one vote. It also means that those who are elected make their collective decisions by majority vote.
So how are we doing? Fair at best: we have
- widespread gerrymandering,
- a grossly unrepresentative U.S. Senate,
- a lopsided Electoral College,
- the Senate filibuster,
- an appointed Vice President, and
- closed primary elections.
We can significantly improve our democracy by applying majority rule universally to every election, decision, issue, and level of government, with, of course, appropriate protections for the rights of minorities. We certainly wish to avoid the “tyranny of the majority”; but in the instances listed here, we now have tyranny of a minority instead.
- LIMITED GOVERNMENT
Speaking of the tyranny of the majority, political commentators have sometimes described democracy as a form of government in which the winners do not find it necessary to murder the losers. This is because both winners and losers of an election know and accept the likelihood that their positions will someday be reversed, and both sides are okay with this. Expressed another way, limited government is essential to democracy.
Our Constitution prohibits government from usurping the rights of citizens to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We must focus government’s permissible powers on protecting those same rights, yes for everyone, but especially for minorities, for those not in power, and for those less fortunate.
So how are we doing? Again, our record to date is spotty:
- We do not protect citizens from guns at all,
- we no longer protect a woman’s access to abortion,
- and we only partially protect
- civil rights,
- voting rights,
- women’s rights,
- reproductive rights,
- clean air and clean water,
- food security,
- affordable housing, and
- both medical care and education for all.
Democracy depends on our collective belief in it. Do we elect leaders who believe that democracy can deliver good governance? Failure to believe in democracy should be disqualifying for public office. When voters elect such people anyway, our democracy is in serious trouble.
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