Many of us are under the illusion that the majority rules in this country. You would think that would be the way a Democracy works, but the United States is not a Democracy. It is a Republic, and when we Pledge Allegiance to the flag, we pledge our allegiance “to the Republic for which it stands.”
A Democracy works when you have just a few people. When you have 330 million people, it is just not practical for everyone to vote on every single decision. This is why we elect representatives to make the decisions. We have to do our regular jobs, drive trucks, wait tables, build houses, etc. We don’t have time to study each and every decision the government makes and come up with perfect solutions. Our representatives do have the time to study the issues and make reasonable decisions. Even so, they don’t always make the right decisions. Party politics can sway the way our representatives vote, just as party politics can immensely affect who the representatives are, who we vote into office.
The Founding Fathers, in their wisdom, knew that our representatives would not always make wise decisions. They incorporated a system of checks and balances into our government. If you ever took a Civics class, you were taught that there are 3 branches of the U.S. Government that can check and balance each other. Like many other things you might have learned in school, this just isn’t so. There are actually 4 branches of the government required to check and balance each other. They are the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch, the Judicial Branch, and the most important branch of the government, We, the People.
You hear statistics all the time, like 70% of Americans want gun control, or 70% of Americans want abortion to be legal. These are huge majorities, but majorities don’t rule. The Legislative Branch of the Government, bowing to the gun lobby, refuses to make the changes needed in our gun laws. The Judicial Branch, bowing to the Conservative ideas of an ancient past, refuse to allow women to make their own decisions about their bodies.
To counter the poor response of the government to the will of the people, We, the People, have to become actively and intelligently involved in the business of selecting the people who will best represent us in the government.
The problem is that We, the People, are too busy fighting each other to tackle this problem. We are divided, and everyone knows the old quote, “A house divided cannot stand.”
Also, in our system of Checks and Balances, a simple majority does not work. To override a Presidential veto, the Senate and House must have a two-thirds majority. To pass a proposed Amendment to the Constitution also requires a two-thirds majority vote in both the House and the Senate. That’s not easy, but it is even tougher for We, the People. A proposed Amendment to the Constitution needs to be ratified by three-fourths of the States. (That means, 38 of the 50 states).
If we want to amend the Constitution to make it bend to the will of the people, a simple majority is not enough. We need a three-fourths majority. We need to be united. The United States requires a united population. Otherwise, we are at the mercy of the political parties who control the other 3 branches of government.
We have to learn to compromise with one another, so that we can move forward instead of going backwards. We need a super majority agreement on the items we find important to override the vetoes we’re getting from Congress and the Supreme Court. We have to go beyond party loyalty, because the political parties do not want us united. They want us to fight with one another so that they continue to hold the power. We have to learn to get along if we want that power to go back to the people. United we stand. Divided we fall.
We are part of the system of Checks and Balances, and one simple thing we can do is that we can simply defund the politicians. We can refuse to write checks to politicians who are not responsive to our needs. We can vote them out of office, and we can elect people, who are responsive to our needs. However, to do this, to beat the powerful lobbies that have hijacked our government, we will all need to work together, and we will all need to work smarter.
Working together is something that Americans can usually only do when it is extremely urgent and important. But, in case you haven’t noticed the school shootings and the Capital protests coming from both sides, right now is one of those times. If we want to find solutions which we can all live with, it is urgent and important that we look for the things we like about one another, instead of the things we hate. If our country is to succeed, We, the People need to get to work and hammer out some solutions to our many problems.
Peace & Love, and all of the above,