There is a huge disconnect between what a majority of Americans want their government to do and what the government actually does.
Background checks for the purchase of a gun is a prime example. Polls show a huge majority believe there should be stronger laws for background checks, but Congress has failed to pass a single law in decades.
The root cause of the disconnect is we are ruled by the minority at all levels of the federal government. Even the Supreme Court has a Republican majority due to the fact the party that had the power to appoint a Supreme Court justice was denied the opportunity by shady maneuvering by the U.S. Senate.
Democracy is built on the basic principle of rule by the majority. Our Founding Fathers had to violate this basic principle in order to get enough states to approve the Constitution. In their wisdom, they left us with a clear method of amending the Constitution as needed. To our credit, we have corrected numerous flaws in the original Constitution, such as slavery, voting rights for women, 18-year-olds and residents of the District of Columbia.
We still have two flaws that hinder the basic principle of rule by the majority. First is the obsolete electoral college, created to gain the approval of the slaveholding states for the Constitution. It has only impacted five presidential elections in which the loser of the popular became the president.
John Q. Adams in 1824, William Harrison in 1840, Rutherford Hayes in 1876, George W.
Bush in 2000 and Donald Trump in 2016.
In the 1824 and 1840 elections, the electoral college served its intended purpose of giving slave-holding states more impact in the election of the president. After slavery was abolished in 1863 and slaves were made citizens, given the right to vote and counted as a whole person in determining representation in the House, it had no purpose.
Historians will judge the huge impact of the elections of 2000 and 2016 in which we went against the will of the majority of voters. We can only speculate what our nation would be like had we followed rule by the majority in 2000 and 2016. It is the only election in the world in which the winner does not win. The sad fact is there is no movement to correct this flaw.
The second flaw is the Great Compromise, which the Founding Fathers had to make to gain approval of the small states. It gave us a bicameral legislature in which the House of Representatives would be based on population and the Senate with equal representation for each state.
It is a problem that has gotten worse as the gap in population between the smallest states and largest states has increased throughout our history.
In the beginning, the gap was only 13 times greater for the largest state over the smallest, today it is around 75 times greater. As with the electoral college, there is no movement to correct this democracy- destroying flaw.
Fortunately, no state in their Constitutions had to make this horrible compromise to get their Constitution ratified.
Imagine how undemocratic Florida would be if we had a Senate with 67 members, one from each county.
Gerrymandering is another reason we have rule by the minority because the party in power can draw district lines that favors their party. In Florida, the Democratic party, which has more registered voters, has 15 of the 40 state Senate seats, 40 of the 120 House seats and 11 of the 27 U.S. House seats.
We do have a movement by groups bringing lawsuits to prevent gerrymandering, and in Florida and other states, their Supreme Courts have ruled in their favor.
The Citizens United ruling which brought unlimited money into elections from the rich gave us government by the smallest minority, the 1 percent.
Our democracy needs some major corrections to survive.
FROM THE LEFT