Reviews | Democrats need to be clear: A radical GOP is holding the country back

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Washington is broken. Politicians can’t do anything. They don’t listen to voters.

Voters have been making these complaints for decades, but they have never been truer than they are today. The preferences of a super-majority of voters, whether to investigate an armed insurrection to overthrow our democracy, to guarantee the right to vote, to adopt reasonable measures regarding firearms or to respecting women’s physical autonomy, almost never translate into legislative results.

Worse, the results — a gun-riddled society, the criminalization of abortion, attempts to overturn elections — are moving the country in ways that threaten the lives and rights of Americans.

Take into account latest Gallup poll on abortion: “After a decade in which Americans’ identification as ‘pro-choice’ has fluctuated narrowly between 45% and 50%, the percentage jumped six points to 55% in the latest poll, per compared to the previous measurement a year ago Pro-choice sentiment is now the highest Gallup has measured since 1995, when it was 56% – the only other time it has been at the current level or higher – while the 39% identifying as “pro-life” is the lowest since 1996.”

In addition, more than half of voters – a first in the history of Gallup polls – think abortion is morally acceptable. Even more remarkable: “The latest data shows that Americans are less likely than a year ago to say abortion should be illegal in all circumstances, falling six points to 13%, the lowest on record by Gallup for the position since 1995. Meanwhile, the 35% who want it to be legal under all circumstances is the highest on Gallup’s trend by one point, having risen slightly each of the past three years. »

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In other words, if Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr.’s leaked draft opinion overturned Roe vs. Wade aimed to “lock in” right-wing judges on the ruling, it accomplished the opposite among ordinary Americans. There will no doubt be a backlash against the court itself for so aggressively attacking established law and popular values.

Similarly on guns, President Biden reflected the overwhelming sentiment of the American people when He asked Thursday night, “For God’s sake, how much more carnage are we willing to accept?” How many more innocent American lives have to be taken before we say enough is enough? Sufficient.”

Items he called for (e.g., banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; raising the purchase age for all firearms to 21; universal background checks safe storage and red flag laws; repeal of protections for firearms manufacturers from liability) result in, in some cases, more than 80% approval.

Biden briefly touched on why the overwhelming support for gun regulation isn’t translating into law: “My God, the fact that the majority of Senate Republicans don’t even want any of these proposals debated or put to a vote. , I find inadmissible,” he said. He warned that “if Congress fails, I believe that this time the majority of the American people will not give up either. I believe the majority of you will act to transform your outrage by placing this issue at the center of your vote.

This is the crux of the problem. Our democracy does not work when the will of the majority is systematically ignored (even repudiated) by a minority out of step with the opinions and values ​​of the nation. This happens primarily with four undemocratic tools: (1) the Electoral College, which has installed Republican presidents who lack majority support; (2) the disproportionate power of sparsely populated, predominantly white states in the Senate; (3) filibuster, which effectively gives the minority party a veto over the majority; and (4) life tenure for Supreme Court justices.

The problem isn’t the foie gras Democrats or “polarization.” Our democracy is being thwarted again and again by an increasingly radical and undemocratic GOP, driven by white grievances and nostalgia for a pre-civil rights America.

If Democrats, including the President, want to end this paralysis, they must be clear on the need for fundamental reform, including ending the filibuster and establishing term limits for judges. of the Supreme Court. Democrats should make it clear: We cannot get what we collectively want by landslide majorities unless we have enough Democrats in power to fix our democracy. You want the right to choose? Gun regulations? We need people in the House and Senate who are determined to end the tyranny of the minority and reflect the views of the supermajority of the people.

The impending reversal of abortion rights and the wave of gun massacres have underscored that a radical white minority has far too much power. If Democrats can’t get their base to remedy this problem and make the case to all Americans that the GOP has become a destructive force for our democracy, then our country is in deep trouble. And the slaughter of little children will continue.

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