Political discourse has some concerned that the democratic process is being undermined in the 2016 Presidential Race.
In EP4 of footnotes, a branch of the Millennics Podcast, Host Jonathan J. Cianfaglione addresses concerns of whether persons and organizations voice objections to a presidential candidate, may be disrupting the democratic process of the 2016 Presidential Race.
Millennics Podcast is changing to every Friday, instead of every Tuesday. Footnotes will continue to be in between Millennics episodes, thus sometime between each Friday. However, recall that Footnotes is a system we use when needed. Therefore, Footnotes is not a regularly scheduled podcast, and, consequently, does not appear every week.
Recently, the media picked up on the compelling parallels of the Goldwater v. LBJ presidential race of 1964. Particularly, how the Trump’s campaign and rise is eerily similar to Goldwater. Millennics podcast EP3 – Caucus v. Primary, discussed the parallels of Trump and Goldwater. Listen to that podcast to get a deeper understanding of what happened in the 1964 race, and why its similar, here. Recall that Goldwater lost in a landslide victory for LBJ.
Footnotes EP4: Democracy is Afoot in the 2016 Presidential Race. March 15, 2016.
Voicing objections, or affirmations, is the democratic process. Indeed, the democratic process thrives when speech is at its highest point. Put in other words, democracy is intended to draw out conversation. Consequently, when there is a lot of conversation–good or bad–rest assured the system is working in harmony. Concern should arise when little conversation is present. That indicates that either people are uninterested, or speech is being suppressed, with the latter being the most likely.
Main points to dismiss concerns that the democratic process is undermined when people and organizations come out in opposition to a candidate.
(1) Every individual has a right to associate. See U.S. Constitution, 1st. Amend. This right further extends to organizations.
(2) Organizations, and their voice, further the democratic process. As mentioned, they have an equal right under the 1st Amend., of the U.S. Constitution. In addition, the help in effectuating speech. As the Supreme Court has once said, “in many cases, people can engage in effective speech only when they join others with similar speech.”
Note that political parties, like the Republican party or the Democratic party, seek to join people in masse and create a singular, stronger voice. This is not some anomaly; many organizations do just that, including AARP, ACLU, NAACP, NRA, etc. The list goes on. The only difference is, the Republican party and the Democratic party have broad purposes, as opposed to other groups that have focused purposes (i.e. NRA focuses solely on gun rights).
(3) Do not confuse a Congressman’s or Congresswoman’s opposition or endorsement of a candidate as government action. Instead, they are exercising their singular right of free speech and association. The government itself, has had no stance on the candidates, and it will continue to do so. The absence of government action against a political party or person is what makes a democracy different than other forms of government (i.e. authoritarian, or communism). In other forms of government, the government is used to actively suppress speech, association, and political will of persons and organizations.