CHANGE TO THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION
Changeto the American Constitution
Democracyat any given moment can be looked at in any of the following giventwo ways: it can be looked at as a great and shining ideal, or it canbe perceived as a type or form of government that, with all its manywarts, it is the least bad kind known. In as much as most Americanslike to understand democracy as defined in the first way, the secondand more prosaic way of perceiving it is most certainly one thatcarries the day. United States, despite vigorously promotingdemocracy abroad, is experiencing challenges itself.
Thecountry’s ideals of equal citizenship and responsive government arecurrently coming under serious threat. Disparities in income, wealthand access to opportunity are building up at a greater rate in theUnited States than in any other nation. Also, growing at an alarmingrate are gaps between races as well as other ethnic groups. The stemof this problem is deep rooted and can be pointed right from thepolicies of the federal government. It is evident that even thoughdemocracy is more about the majority, the system in play is notexactly representative. The fact is clear from the behavior exhibitedby the liberals and the conservatives. They are out rightly mad ateach other and even at their own leaders (Andrea, 2003).
Thepoor choices by both parties involving policy has clearly resulted insome extent of unhappiness. The greatest problem with Americandemocracy as it is presently can be traced from two structuralfaults. The first is that the government and the people have grownfarther apart. The second problem is that the people no longertolerate frustration. The only way to deal with this catastrophe isfinding a new way to renew the current system of democracy. Making anassumption that the vast American population wants one thing is awrong and lost course. The truth is that in a mass democracy anindividual citizen has very little power in terms of determining thefederal government’s policy.
Theirony of the democratic system at play in the United States is thatit is not more of distributing power fairly but rather more ofdistributing impotence fairly. Initially, the system was functionalas the population was way lower than it presently is. Constituentcitizens then, knew their legislators personally and the same wastrue of congress. The system has however, grown archaic as thepopulation is now greater than it was in 1789. The result of this isthat power has steadily moved away farther and farther from thepeople.
Thevalley created has resulted to the citizens of America raising theirvoices, but being heard unequally owing to divisions across the linesof race, income and gender. The privileged participate more thanothers and are increasingly better positioned and organized to presstheir demands on the government (Andrea, 2003). Citizens, who are oflower or moderate incomes, find themselves on the receiving end. Theyspeak with a whisper often lost on the ears of inattentive governmentofficials. The advantaged on their part roar with clarity andconsistency that policy makers hear and act upon.
Peoplehave become quicker at noticing when the government acts contrary towhat they like and have become sensitive to these frustrationstolerating them less and less by the day. The logic behind this issimply that the government, more so the federal government affectstheir lives directly. There is no industry or work place that is notaffected in one way or the other by the federal regulations. Thegovernment has become more intrusive with time, but the media too hasequally become more pervasive fueling the population’s growingintolerance for the government failures.
Theproblem in the system however, does not surface until election time.Even though it is a basic constitutional right of every Americancitizen to vote, the problem doubles back to some people being morerelevant to the process of governance than others. Grave inequalitieshave sprouted everywhere in the political voice that is expressedthrough elections as well as other avenues. It is very worrisome thatareas like government decision making, citizen voice and publicpolicy seem to be coming together and positively amplifying theinfluence of few (Bernstein & Boushey, 2003). In addition, theytend to promote government unresponsive to the values and needs ofthe majority.
Thestructure of the government, as it is, has frustration embedded intoit despite the American citizenly becoming less tolerant offrustrations. As the population grows, power over the government isedging away and shrinking. It is ironical that most Americans spendtheir lives rejecting what they do not like with actions such aschanging credit cards, car companies and even spouses. There ishowever, no getting away from the government in spite of it beingunder control of people that Americans does not like. Culture changeshave not made renewing democracy any easier and neither has thegrowing population. The society has grown complex as individuals havegotten more assertive. Disagreements about the dos and don’ts ofthe government and how it can act on them are imminent.
Thechallenge of bringing reform to American democracy is by far notchild’s play. The baby step towards achieving a renewed democracyaccording to political science experts is to have a responsivegovernment. This is because by itself it encourages greater andbetter citizen engagement and in turn this creates a healthydemocracy. During public program debates it is vital to push for thespread of opportunities as well as assure security for large numberscreating an effect of democratic citizenship. People will most likelyhave faith in the government if they feel it will address the needsand values of the majority.
Theother significant move would be to ensure that the media informscitizens about policy and push their involvement in community liferather than major on amplifying the voice of the involved alone. Themedia can do this by treating politics less cynically and morerespectfully. Organizing and sponsoring debates among candidates andpolicy makers will also be a big milestone towards attaining areformed democracy (Andrea, 2003). This action will help a great dealin broadening the voices of those citizens who were formerly unheardand thereby giving birth to a more representative kind of democracy.
Inconclusion, the democratic model being used at the moment in theUnited States is more of authoritarian than democratic. The system ismarred by politicians who are from the elites in the society and whorepresent their kind. The resulting effect of such is that it becomesa minority democracy rather than a majority democracy. Aconstitutional change that would help in attaining the much neededdemocracy would be of immense importance to the Americans.
Andrea,L. C. (2003). HowPolicies Make Citizens: Senior Political Activism and the AmericanWelfare State. Princeton,NJ: Princeton University Press.
Bernstein,M. & Boushey, T. (2003). Stateof Working America,2003 Lynne E. Ford, Womenand Politics: In Pursuit of Equality.New York: Houghton Mifflin.