Democracy, true democracy, direct democracy can never work, at least not for the common citizen. Direct Democracy, voting directly for laws or lawmakers with the only stipulation that the majority of the votes are considered regardless of if the majority of those votes come from sub-state, and even sub-regional areas but with cross-country consequences will serve only to degrade and eventually destroy a country, causing balkanization much like that of Eastern Europe. This is especially true if many (almost half at this point in America) citizens are not contributing to the society, but instead much like a leech drains the blood of an animal, are draining the country of its material, financial, emotional, and social lifeblood. Every person in a country cannot have an equal vote unless every single person in the country contributes to the improvement, protection, or stability of a country. Otherwise the country devolves into mob rule, mob rule by those who don’t work over those who do, and whatever direction the mob decides to move is the direction the country goes, much like a herd of sheep will follow a leader anywhere … even off a cliff.
A business consisting of two partners serves as a decent example of the folly of equal votes for unequal representation, or put another way equal representation for unequal taxation. Assume one partner brings in almost all the capital and work, the other partner brings in little to none of either, but uses up both time and resources. Yet, when the time comes to make decisions, the second partner expects an equal vote with the first. No individual in their right mind would agree to that situation, and yet that is exactly what we have in this country currently. According to the Tax Policy Center approximately 76.4 million or 44.4% of Americans will not pay any federal income tax in 2018, an increase from 72.6 million people or 43.2% in 2016. This does not include state and local taxes. And yet, how many American citizens are afforded the opportunity to vote in national, federal, elections? The answer … 100%. If people are not contributing financially or by their work to the company, what possible right do they have to decide how the money and resources of that company are spent? And before some folks vociferously point to the fact that some people that are not paying federal income taxes are working and contributing to the country as a whole, they are still taking out more in education, welfare, and healthcare (just to name a few) than they are putting in. Meaning they are getting more benefits from the federal treasury than they are depositing. Moreover, they are allowed an equal vote with the person whose taxes they are unequally using. It is like having a person in a leaking boat splash more water into the boat than they bail out, while all the other sailors are struggling to bail.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article it was noted that many in the country are decrying the current constitutional setup of the Electoral College. Saying that far too much power goes to the states with too few people while the will of the majority is thwarted. They point to the example of Hillary Clinton losing the 2016 Presidential election, but yet winning the popular vote by over three million people. They’re right, but those very numbers they tout fight against them and have since the inception of our country. A quote from a time in our history when the many in a concentrated area were attempting to rule the few across a dispersed area against their will, illustrates this point. “Small islands, not capable of protecting themselves, are the proper objects for kingdoms to take under their care; but there is something absurd, in supposing a continent to be perpetually governed by an island.” Mr. Paine’s comment has an eerily prescient quality to it two and a half centuries later. When the overwhelming majority of a candidates or parties votes come from an underwhelming minority of the land mass of a country you have a problem. Of Ms. Clinton’s votes, if you remove just two states (California and New York) her margin of victory crumbles and she loses the popular vote by more than she won it by. What those who are disparaging of the college want in effect, is for the “islands” to rule the entire “continent” of America.
There is a huge difference between a constitutional republic which we were devised as and have been for the most part, and a direct democracy, which we are quickly turning into. One limits the powers of officeholders, separates their powers, and should in effect limit the power of the mob. The other turns into the mob with no thoughts or concerns for any minority under its sway. Mobs are unruly, and bent on causing trouble and violence, for getting “what is theirs” regardless of any “collateral damage” to quote a current political figure.
Everybody can’t get to vote, folks. Only those who help steer the ship. And it should have nothing to do with gender, race, ethnicity, or past citizenship. Yes you must be an American citizen, but even more than that you must be an American citizen who is assimilating, who speaks the language, who wants to conform to the values and morals of this country, who is helping to push the country forward by donating time, effort, or “gasp” money. It must be a level playing field in the sense that once the criteria are listed anyone who meets those criteria should be able to vote, and anyone who doesn’t meet the criteria is prevented from voting. Perhaps we need more senators per state, perhaps we need to go back to direct election of the President and Vice President from the Senate, but what we certainly need is less of the mob and the people who use the mob as a means to an end, to get rid of “others who do not share their views.”
I’ll leave you with a quote from President Madison:
“From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.” ― James Madison, Federalist Papers Nos. 10 and 15
–JT Cope IV