Democracy: it’s what keeps America free. It’s the foundation that we were built on, that says that all men are created equal, and as such, all men should have a voice and right to choose how they are governed. It is for democracy that we have states with individual laws and that we, the people, vote to choose our leaders. And it is because of democracy that those laws and leaders are supposed to listen to us.
As Merriam-Webster defines democracy, it is literally “government by the people.”
And yet, in recent years, some would say that our democracy has become increasingly threatened. That the people are either no longer given a voice or that their voice is no longer heard, possibly even ignored.
Don’t tell me that you haven’t seen it happening. I may not be nearly as in tune with what’s going on in the world as I should be, and even I have watched it slowly unfold.
And I’m not the only one to have noticed, either.
In fact, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, a majority of America thinks this is the case. And no, I’m not just talking about one party or another either. The poll notes that, of those surveyed, 67 percent believe that democracy is currently in danger.
Seventy percent of registered Republicans think this, as do 72 percent of Democrats and 69 percent of independents, according to the poll.
Breaking it down a bit further, the poll indicates that women tend to think this a bit more than men, coming in at just over 75 percent for women and 58 percent for men. However, when it comes to race, the most are about evenly matched, with 70 percent of white adults and 69 percent of black adults worried about the future of our democracy.
With the facts out of the way, it’s time to discuss why. Why do most Americans believe that democracy, as we have known it in the past, might not last much longer?
Well, as you can imagine, that typically depends on what political party one favors.
The answer is quite simple for Democrats, such as President Joe Biden, who has even expressed his concerns about our democracy being at risk recently. It all comes down to former President Donald Trump and his Republican cohorts.
In fact, he just gave a speech in which he pretty much blamed the erosion of democracy and the freedom of Americans on the Make America Great Again movement that Trump began back in 2016 when he was elected as our 45th president.
And as he said last week, during a Democratic National Committee event in Maryland, “Trump and the extreme MAGA Republicans have made their choice – to go backwards full of anger, violence, hate, and division.”
But the line he used to follow this indicates that his supposed fears about our democracy might just be fears that he and his party will soon lose their power to the Republicans. As Biden said, “Now you need to vote to literally save democracy again.”
First of all, one must ask: “again?” when did we have to vote to save it before? I mean, I know that every time we vote, especially when we are putting a new president in the White House, we should be doing so with democracy and what is best for our nation in mind. But did we save it by choosing one candidate over the other recently?
Of course, Biden would say yes, believing that another year of Trump would have ruined us all. Just as he believes giving Republicans control of both legislative houses, as is expected to happen come the November midterms, will sink our country further into despair.
Naturally, for Republicans, the worries about our democracy come from the opposite end of the spectrum. The fear for most on the right is that with the political left currently in control of both houses and the executive branch and all moving ever closer to socialism, our rights as individuals and free people will soon be gone, particularly when those we have voted into office no longer seem to care what we think or need.
And so the divide grows even deeper. If only we could find leaders who listen and adhere to the wishes of “we, the people,” who are at present not so divided in their worry about where our nation is headed.