My country is broken. It is supposed to be governed by a government that is “of the people, by the people, for the people,” as President Lincoln said at Gettysburg. The first three words of our country’s Constitution are “We the people.” Our elected officials are supposed to go to Washington DC to carry out the will of We the People. They don’t!
Two issues plainly illustrate how our government does not act to carry out the will of the people. First, guns. Based on polling data conducted by the Pew Research Center in April 2021, 87% of the American people believe that people with mental illness should not be able to purchase a gun; 83% want background checks for gun sales at gun shows and through private dealers; 66% support the creation of a federal database that tracks all gun sales; 64% support banning high capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds; 63% support banning assault-style weapons.
As these poll numbers indicate, large majorities of the people support common-sense gun laws. But our elected officials have not acted to carry out the will of the American people that support common-sense gun laws. When it comes to guns, we have a government of the gun people, by the gun people, and for the gun people. Note that “gun people” includes gun corporations, which have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to elect politicians that will carry out the will of the gun people, the minority, not the will of the majority of the American people.
The second issue that shows how the government does not carry out the will of the people is a woman’s right to abortion. Granted, like guns, abortion is an emotional issue, with strongly held opinions on both sides. Those strong feelings break out this way: Based on Pew Research Center polls, 61% of the American people say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 37% say it should be illegal in all or most cases. As for overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal in the United State, 64% of the people do not want it overturned, with 33% wanting it overturned.
Our broken Congress refuses to pass abortion legislation that reflects the will of most of the people. The recent leak of a draft opinion of the Supreme Court, essentially stating that Roe vs Wade should be overturned, does not reflect the will of 64% of the people. Again, our government is a government of the anti-abortion-rights people, by the anti-abortion-rights people, and for the anti-abortion-rights people. It is a government of the minority.
If you are a person whose opinion about guns and/or abortion rights is in the minority, as indicated in the poll numbers above, then you may be fine with our broken government. Regarding these two issues, it is the minority that decides our country’s policies and laws. You have gotten your way. And if you are among the majority of the American people on these issues, your government apparently doesn’t care about what you want, or think, or believe. Because, in today’s United States, it is the minority that has figured out how to manipulate our governmental systems into systems that carry out the will of the minority of the people, not the will of the majority. “We the people” increasingly means the minority of the people. We are living under the tyranny of the minority!
The first step in fixing anything is recognizing that it is broken. My country is broken. So is my heart.