Republican control of Congress and the White House continues to feed Democratic backlash, which only seems to intensify as Congressional leaders and Donald Trump seek to implement more and more of their policy agendas. It is a continuation of the Republican backlash seen under the leadership of Barack Obama. Beyond partisan politics, it is part of a far more troubling trend away from democratic governance. Democracy requires people to respect the views and interests of others. When part of a minority, individuals must be willing to respect the rule of the majority. An unwillingness of Democrats, Republicans, and members of other political parties to respect the majority, when the majority of the American People dissent from their viewpoints, reveals a lack of confidence and faith in democracy.
Democracy and proper governance in general hinge on the ability of government to address and balance the interests of the governed. When there is a conflict of interests between different segments of the population, public officials cannot undermine the rights of a minority without risking the long-term interests, i.e. rights, of everyone. Public policies must, however, cater to the will of the shifting political majority. Libertarian factions within the GOP, for example, seek to eliminate most government spending and taxes. Although wealthy individuals and businesses favor Libertarian thinking when it means fewer taxes for them, the Libertarian view is a minority view, thus Republican efforts to eliminate social welfare spending violates the rule of the majority and shows a lack of respect for democracy.
The simple truth is Republicans and Democrats are political coalitions composed of minority political factions, thus they are political minorities themselves. Both Republicans and Democrats are larger political minorities than Libertarians, yet their policy platforms do not truly represent a majority of the American People or even a majority of their own Party members. Although the policy platforms of Republicans and Democrats have never fully represented the views of their Party members, the GOP and Democratic Party of today both cater to the views of their Right-wing and Left-wing respectively. Their policy platforms, therefore, represent the views of minorities on the extremes of the political spectrum.
Clearly, this means neither Republican nor Democratic leadership in government can honesty represents the interests of the American People. It is, therefore, only through consensus governance that the common interests of the American People can be truly represented. By short-circuiting the legislative process, i.e. finding ways to pass legislation without the input of the minority political parties, and imposing political agendas onto the American People, those who hold power in government demonstrate a lack of respect for democracy. By refusing to represent the interests of others, the political parties reveal that they do not truly believe in democracy. They simply wish to use democracy to legitimize their seizure of power, which makes it far easier to impose their will on the entire population.
Faith in democracy means supporting democracy when the results do not agree with one’s own views. It is easy for people to believe in democracy, civil liberties, and freedoms when it benefits them, but it is a lot harder to believe in these things when it means someone else gets their way. Few groups of people share the same stances on
every issue, thus everyone has their own unique political ideology. This means an individual can expect to be in the political majority sometimes and political a minority other times, depending on the issue in question. Today, the minority-controlled political parties set their public policy agendas based on the views of party leadership. The representatives of the American People in government should, however, ignore their Party affiliations to allow the true political majority and minorities to be represented in Congress and the White House. They should respect democracy and give their constituents representation instead of the Conservatives and Liberal minorities.
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