American Majority Belong to Political Minorities; Greater Civic Engagement and Political Activism Needed Past 2016
American voters have been deprived of the opportunity to choose the candidate they truly want in 2016. This is nothing new, but it is a step back from 2008 when American voters wholeheartedly embraced Barack Obama’s aspirations for change. Forced to now choose between the lesser of two evils, the American People have to ask the question: how well does the US government represent their interests. In many respects, the choice to settle for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump means the vast majority of Americans belong to political minorities that the current US political leadership does not truly represent and, more often than not, fails to serve. Turning away from election politics to the politics of governance, the American People need to embrace this reality and demand greater representation.
Obviously, politicians like Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump always have diehard supporters, but many more voters are voting to keep Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton out of office. Anti-Trump voters are joining the usual anti-Right Wing effort to save the US from the instability and insecurity of a unpredictably rabble rouser while anti-Clinton voters are joining the usual anti-Left Wing effort to save the US from the status quo of a political elitist who has enriched her family and herself through her political connections. Caught in the middle of this escalated political war between Left Wing and Right Wing factions are the unrepresented majority who need government to work for them and their causes.
To say the anti-Trump and anti-Clinton factions are at war is an understatement. The powerful political minorities behind these figureheads want complete control over the powerful US government, whether or not their policy priorities and political agendas actually aligned with that of the American People. To them, the interests of the majority of the American People only matter when they need the support of the American People to pursue their agendas. Where the Obama Administration was nearly paralyzed by a Republican Congress unwilling to compromise and govern for the middle, the Forty-Fifth US President will face even greater opposition. To make matters worse, the victor of 2016 will not have the strong support Obama enjoyed. Unfortunately, the war between the politically influential anti-factions will leave the American majority with a completely unresponsive and dysfunctional government.
Despite Republican obstruction and public displeasure with many of President Obama’s unrestrained initiatives, he did enjoy a broad base of support. The biggest obstacle to proper governance during his tenure was a major political minority’s unwillingness to accept majority rule and play their proper role as a mitigating minority. In contrast, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are more like minority leaders than majority leaders who would be capable of garnering the strong, broad base support they will need to pursue their public policy initiatives. What the 2016 Trump-Clinton Election has done is widen the divisions between the various minority political factions to the point where neither the Democrats nor Republicans can adequately represent the majority of the American People, which means elected officials will need a political active populace to overcome opposition to their public policy initiatives.
Like any minority, all the political minorities of the United States can honestly say that the Forty-Fifth President does not truly represent them. Like all minorities, the political minorities cannot expect the US President and Congress to pursue priorities that reflect their interests. When it comes to a political minority, the only means of achieving representation in government and forcing the government to respond to that minority’s interests is for the minority to lobby government. When it comes to a marginalized majority, this means greater civic engagement and sustained political campaigning for specific policies. To overcome opposition, the US President will need the American People, so prioritizing the interests of the political active will be essential. The 2016 Election will end with the selection of a President, members of Congress, and other public officials, but the campaigning cannot end on November 8th, 2016.
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