They are ruining our democracy!
It seems like in every political debate, the political pundits from both left and the right are blasting each other for ruining democracy. It is such a common argument that it is becoming irritating. In addition to not being helpful, most of these people have forgotten what democracy is as it relates to our country. Or, probably more accurately how it should work in America. Actually, it feels like the entire country needs a basic civics class. So, how do the political parties view democracy, and how are they missing the mark?
History of Democracy
Democracy is the name of a political system that the people define. The term originates from the Greeks, specifically Athens. Although there is a rough and messy history surrounding early democracy, the concept of a political system defined by the people was revolutionary. Over time, variations of the Democracy political system were born. However, the fundamental understanding is that in a democracy, citizens exercise through direct voting or for representatives. Simple to understand right? So, let’s talk about how each party is destroying “democracy.”
Democrats: “This is What Democracy Looks Like”
The term “this is what democracy looks like” has been shouted by leftist protestors during large-scale protests. Over the last couple of years, Democrats’ version of democracy has changed. In fact, they have taken almost an extreme version of direct democracy. According to Democrats, institutions like the Electoral College and Senate, are undemocratic. They claim that democracy would be getting rid of these institutions, creating a direct democracy.
The Democrat's version of democracy aspires to be a direct version. However, it is a democracy that is based on mob rule. It reflects in certain ways that Democrats engage in political discussion. Regardless of what is being discussed, the first reaction is to mob individuals to force their ideas. This contributes to the protestors' narrative that “this is what democracy looks like.” Mob rule is what Democrats are defining as democracy. Most things that are undemocratic to these people are anything that prevents mob rule. That is why you see many Democrat supporters protesting against the Supreme Court and calling it undemocratic. Pretty much anyone that calls them out is shouted down and referred to as a “threat to democracy.” The Republicans on the other hand have a different take.
Republicans: “Protecting the Constitution”
Republicans’ version of democracy is rather the opposite. For the most part, Republicans seem to have a similar definition as the United States. They believe people’s ability to vote is an integral part of democracy, yet know the boundary where the United State’s republic begins. However, Republicans treat anything that would tamper with the vote as a threat.
The majority of Republicans support increasing security, such as voter ID, to ensure citizens are participating. They are also staunch defenders of the Constitution, specifically stating that any adjustments or restrictions relating to these rights are a violation of American democracy. This is constantly on display when it comes to gun control, as it effectively does restrict the right to bear arms by limiting what you are allowed. In most ways, the Republicans’ version of democracy is a republic.
To be fair, both Democrats and Republicans are wrong and they really should stop abusing the use of the word democracy to make political points.
Democracy, Democracy, Democracy: Just Stop It!
Both parties blast each other for “destroying democracy” which is embarrassing and overused. You can’t even search democracy without people claiming one thing or the other and how it is being destroyed.
We are not a pure democracy and we never have been. The Electoral College, Senate, limits to Federal Power, and the United States Constitution are all functions of our Democratic Republic! During the Pledge of Allegiance, you say “and to the Republic!” Not “to the Democracy.” Regardless, the real problem is that people are weaponizing the use of “democracy” to advance their agendas.
The one thing for sure is that on the basic level, democracy is important. No matter what side, the ability to vote in an election and be confident your beliefs are represented fairly is what really matters. To that end, both parties should respect and revere the role of democracy in the United States and think before they just use the word.