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Democracy Essay

723 words - 3 pages

Democracy

In the 2000 presidential election, less than 59% of our population saw fit to even vote. 80.5% of those voting were white, that's roughly 60% of the white population. Of the meager 19.5% of the vote the non-white population represented, less than 51% of non-whites able to vote actually did (Census). What does this mean? How can democracy – a republic like ours – correctly function without a more complete representation of opinion from its people? Former UCLA Law professor Julian Eule argued in his essay “Judicial Review of Direct Democracy” that the framers of our constitution set up the republic to in effect protect us from ourselves, to protect us from this sort of majority rule.(Eule) I believe that this misrepresentation is responsible for racist legislation and legislators.

A recent NAACP resolution stated "The American people deserve political leaders who make clear, concise and well-reasoned decisions based on fact and clearly informed by all people involved, not leaders that perpetuate erroneous assumptions and ill-informed deductions based on racial and ethnic stereotypes," in reference to North Carolina Representative Howard Coble's remarks supporting former president Roosevelt's internment of the Japanese during World War II. (NAACP) The japanese internment has long been a dark blot on American history, but this legislator, this elected legislator seems to not represent a majority opinion of the people he represents. As well, NAACP president Kweisi Mfume remarked "President Bush continues to nominate right-wing extremists to the federal bench," in reference to the proposed confirmation of Jeffrey S. Sutton as a 6th Circuit Appeals Court judge, a position that demands a truly neutral position. Jeffrey S. Sutton is a member of the Federalist Society (“a right-wing extremist legal association”). (NAACP) People appointed to office such as Sutton are done so at the command of those in office. If the opinions of the people are not reflected by the leader they voted into office, so too may his appointees. By not offsetting the extremist votes with the statistically more moderate vote of the general populace, extremists are allowed into office to affect their possibly racist ideas upon the public.

Does this rift in the voting population and the legislators themselves necissarily cause the racist legislation and election of racist legislators? Even the nature of proposed equal rights legislation such as affirmative action and its likes are a point of...

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