FARGO -- I worry about the future of our democracy. It’s under heavy assault.
We are heading toward a system of minority rule. We have seen the tyranny of the minority block good laws or put in place bad ones.
Our system of fairness and justice is in danger for several reasons. They include:
The Electoral College
Presidents can be elected, even if their opponent receives millions of more votes. President Joe Biden received 7.1 million votes more than former President Donald Trump but narrowly won three states that gave him an Electoral College victory. The system of 51 winner-take-all elections to tabulate the election results is crazy.
This is a national election. The vote of every American should count the same. The problem is presidents who lose the popular vote by millions of votes then have the power to issue executive orders, sign and veto legislation, appoint Supreme Court justices, support insurrections, take military action and pardon criminals.
Voter suppression laws
The successful effort by 18 red state legislatures to prevent or restrict voting is obscene and un-American. Instead of trying to win with the best candidates and issues, Republicans have prioritized limiting the voting of people likely to vote for Democrats.
Voting is a right for every American adult, but Republicans don’t see it that way. To make matters worse, some red states have changed the way the votes are counted or who is in charge of the counting. It’s quite possible that victories by Democratic candidates will be thrown out for no good reason.
Instead of voters picking their elected leaders, the elected leaders are picking their voters so election results are a foregone conclusion. Republicans design 187 districts, while Democrats design 75 districts. All the districts should be mapped out by independent and neutral commissions. Noncompetitive elections lead to extremist members of Congress.
The Supreme Court
There have been many disturbing decisions by the high court in recent years. The worst one was the gutting of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. None of these new voter suppression laws would be possible without that horrendous decision. Mitch McConnell’s unconstitutional hypocrisy over when to confirm justices is dangerous.
It favors minority rule. Even though it’s not in the Constitution, it allows 41 votes to defeat 59 votes in the U.S. Senate. That’s outrageous!
As a result, many bills that most Americans favor are killed because of the filibuster. Those include bills about jobs, common sense gun control, wages, social security, immigration and voting rights.
Republicans in Congress
Dozens of them shamefully go along with the big lie that the last election was stolen or fraudulent even though there is no credible evidence.
On Jan. 6, the very day that there was a violent attempt to overthrow our government, it was appalling that 147 seditionist members of Congress voted to overturn the presidential election results. One of them was Minnesota Rep. Michelle Fischbach. It’s frightening to think what might happen if a Democrat legitimately wins a presidential election and the Republicans control Congress.
Shaw is a former WDAY TV reporter and former KVRR TV news director.