An imperfect democracy
One man to one vote has always been the core principle of a functioning democracy. Democracy may be the best form of government, but looking back in history, democracies have not always promoted the best policies.
The majority of present day Americans do not agree with the majority of Americans from previous generations. Both sides can’t be right.
Examples of this is slavery and, more recently, Jim Crowe laws. Not even 60 years ago did the voting majority believe that African Americans should be categorized as a class of human beings inferior to Anglo Americans. It was during a time where a black man could not drink from the same water fountain as a white man. And just two weeks ago President Barak Obama, a black man, was nominated for his second term. There is no way that American ancestors could have been right.
Another example is marijuana. Not too long ago were people preaching that marijuana was the devil’s lettuce, and that it makes people become evil criminals. But California has voted that marijuana is legal for health purposes, and Colorado has legalized marijuana for recreational purposes. Some believe such legalization is appropriate for a variety of reasons, but only posterity will be able to judge that.
When it comes to right or wrong, people are all just guessing. The government does want to protect the majority’s opinion, but opinions are merely thoughts on what the facts are.
One man, one vote, the American way of life. But just like everything that seems too good to be true there is fine print under this principle. Felons can’t vote. People who have a limited mental capacity can’t vote either. And we have an electoral college, which means that citizens vote for someone to vote for them. The American version of democracy is questionable; it just doesn’t seem true to the definition.
If someone is a felon or is not as fast as others they don’t have a vote. This should be unacceptable because these are two large populations that are being ignored. This is the opposite of a democracy.
Everyone should be able to vote. That is a true sign of political freedom. But the U.S. democracy isn’t constructed like that due to such restrictions. What’s not popular can’t vote, and the popular vote doesn’t win elections. So until the popular vote wins, and everyone gets a vote, the American democracy will still be a work in progress.
Chris Marshall is a graduate student studying mass communications and may be reached at [email protected]