Art And Response

Do We Still Live In A Democracy?

Is America still a democracy?

The Will Of The People vs That Of The People They Elected

The election is finally over. With the help of the Electoral College and gerrymandering, the Republican party will control the presidency, the congress, and soon the Supreme Court. But does the Republican party represent the values of the majority of Americans? To answer that, let’s compare the Republican platform with national polls issue by issue.

Electoral College

According to a Quinnipiac University poll, Americans are in favor of deciding the future Presidential elections by direct popular vote 53%-34%. The last two Republican Presidents having won without winning the popular vote, the GOP is of course, against it.

Abortion

Americans polled support Roe v Wade 67% – 30%. The GOP is famously against it.

Supreme Court Nomination

Americans polled thought the Senate should vote on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee during his term 52%-30%, but the Republican controlled Senate feels differently.

Entitlements

You know those things we paid into all our working lives that Paul Ryan wants to privatize (read take away). According to a CBS News Poll, Americans think the cost of Social Security is worth the benefits 73%-21%. They also are in favor of the government offering everyone a government-administered health insurance (public option) to compete with private insurance 59%-34% while Paul Ryan, and his Republican friends, are against it.

Gun Control

93% of the American public support requiring background checks for all gun buyers.The Republican controlled senate doesn’t even want to discuss it.

Global Warming

61%-10%,  Americans believe most scientific studies conclude that global warming is real (97% of scientists agree). Trump’s pick for Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price believes Global warming is a hoax, voted against having the EPA regulate greenhouse gases and voted no on subsidies for renewable energy as well voting to continue giving subsidies for oil and gas exploration. He also signed a pledge created by Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group funded by the Koch brothers, vowing to oppose climate legislation.

Marijuana

60% of Americans polled support the legalization of marijuana. Trump’s pick forAttorney General, Jeff Sessions said, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana,” and that it was a “very real danger” that is “not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized.”

Minimum Wage

58% of Americans polled support increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Republicans, of course are against it.

Trump

Finally, let’s turn specifically to President-elect Donald Trump. The fact that he lost the popular vote by over 2 million people suggests our presidential elections are something other than a truly democratic process. He campaigned on a temporary ban of Muslims entering the U.S.  Americans polled oppose the ban 74%-17%.  Americans polled are also against his proposed wall along our border with Mexico 53%-42%. Yet he won (the Electoral College).

This election defied all the voting polls and (more importantly) polls on the issues (and even more importantly) the popular vote. We gave complete unfettered control to a party that is undeniably and diametrically opposed to the wishes of the majority of Americans. What is the purpose of democracy if it doesn’t fulfill the will of the people? America has never been a direct democracy and at this point in our history, perhaps, not a democracy at all.