Disenfranchisement of the masses is one of the greatest threats to our democracy. While the term is used more to describe the removal of a right to vote, it also means the attenuation of an individual’s voting power/influence.
During the framing of the Constitution, the drafters of the document and of our government had envisioned each congressional district to represent approximately 50-60K people. Today, congressional districts sit at about 700K citizens per.
I am sure that there will be more than a few repuglicans, who will argue that the Founding Fathers could not have imagined the US as being as large as it has become. One of which, I disagree with in its entirety. Remember, they had come from over-crowded cities before coming to these shores. They were ever hopeful of America’s growth and expansion. There is ample evidence to support the discussion that THEY saw the importance of a growing America –through immigration, might I add. James Madison, argued that the Constitution actually depended upon this pluralism –in number and representation:
“This freedom arises from that multiplicity of sects which pervades America,” he stated at the Virginia ratifying convention, “for where there is such a variety of sects, there cannot be a majority of any one sect to oppress and persecute the rest.”
What we have seen over the course of nearly 250 years is the dilution of this plurality DESPITE growth. Now, instead of a group of people oppressing the minority, it is one person, who can change the fate of nearly 700K people, and when working in concert with other like-minded oppressors, can affect the fate of the United States.
It is time that we look at other avenues of inquiry beyond Third Parties, rogue politicians or limiting contributions by person or entity. By returning balance back toward the people in terms of true proportional representation, we can limit influence of hate groups, extreme party politics, the wealthy, and most of all politicians.
We can have a responsive and beholden to the people government, but only if we, The People, stand up and take charge of the system for a short period in order to re-establish our Republic. Sic Semper Tyrannis.