Democracy? Only If I Agree.
Democracy: (Greek: Dēmokratia literally “rule of the commoners”) a system of government in which the citizens exercise power directly or elect representatives from among themselves to form a governing body. Democracy is sometimes referred to as “rule of the majority” [source: Wikipedia]
– a form of government in which people choose leaders by voting;
– a country ruled by democracy;
– an organization or situation in which everyone is treated equally and has equal rights.
[source: Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary]
With the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States, mainstream and social media have been working overtime. People are shocked, outraged and disappointed at how such a person could be elected Commander in Chief of the most powerful nation on earth. Despite the outcry, despite the name calling, despite the protests, despite the despair felt by many, this man has been validly elected President by the people through a democratic process.
The public criticism, anger and abuse directed at ‘Trump Supporters’ has got me thinking – how is it possible that we still do not understand the value of democracy? Why does democracy only apply to our beliefs and choices? Why has the main issue at hand here been completely ignored – that he spoke to the people and the people agreed with him. People who have free will and the constitutional right to vote, elected him President in a democratic process. The issue is not with the new President of the United States or what he stands for. The real issue to be considered is what the majority of the people of the United States believe and stand for as they elected their representative candidate. If the minority do not agree, then there is always an opportunity for a systemic review of the cultural, educational and moral fabric of society to better understand what is in fact occurring.
To take to the streets, to social media, to mainstream media and criticise, berate and question is within our rights for those lucky enough to have freedom of speech (thanks to democracy) but it is a fine line before we begin to undermine our own democratic rights, including the democratic rights of the people who voted for Trump.
Elected candidates are a mirror reflection of the persons who elected them – if we have an issue with this, then we must look elsewhere for answers. The alternate of course is to scrap this process and install a dictatorship. Would this keep the minority supporting other candidates happy? I would hope not. Democracy works whether we agree with the outcome or not – it is not selectively applied so that if Hillary Clinton had been successful all would have been right with this world.
There is a reason people chose to vote for Trump and a reason they chose to not vote for Hillary Clinton. The answers lie within the people, not within the candidates. Regardless of the outcome, the democratic process must remain strong, intact and should never be undermined so as to ensure that all the rights we take for granted daily including the right to vote, remain. Whether this was the right choice for the United States will become clear in due course – and then the people will again have the right to vote to show their agreement or disagreement with the course of the Presidency and his commitment to the people.