Our democracy is falling apart

Senior+Xavier+Sullivan+is+a+second+year+staff+writer+on+the+Elkhart+Memorial+GENESIS+staff.+He+specializes+in+opinion+columns.+

Jahlea Douglas

Senior Xavier Sullivan is a second year staff writer on the Elkhart Memorial GENESIS staff. He specializes in opinion columns.

Xavier Sullivan, Staff Writer

We tend to think of the United States of America as a democracy; however, I would argue that our democracy is slowly dying before our eyes without even realizing it. 

For example, in 1790, there was one representative in the House of Representatives for every 57,179 people in America. But in October of 2017, there was one representative for every 747,184 people, or a 1,306 percent change in the number of representatives per population. And often, those representatives have their votes in congress bought by lobbying fronts who will pay representatives to vote a certain way on issues.

All it takes is one rich person to change the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Say for example, a bill that would increase taxes on the rich, and redistribute that money as welfare to the poor could result in the rich paying representatives to vote against it. Is that truly democracy?

Even the way we vote isn’t always democratic either. Voting for president is not truly by the people. The Electoral College elects the president based-off of who wins the majority of the votes in each congressional district, those districts themselves, subject to gerrymandering. This has lead to five instances of candidates who the majority of people didn’t want, were elected as president.

The argument for the electoral college is that it gives more power to smaller states to choose, and not just a handful of large cities. However, there are two counter arguments for this. First, the ten largest cities in the United States only count for 7.9 percent of the total population. Second, states with fewer electoral votes result in citizen’s votes having a greater impact than those who live in larger states, and have more electoral votes. That goes directly against the very principle of democracy, which employs a fair and secret voting system.

Not only do we have less representation, our representatives don’t even always reflect our interests, and we have little power choosing our leaders, and that’s a bit hypocritical to the very principles of our nation.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the GENESIS staff. Reach Xavier Sullivan at [email protected]