From the very beginning of my time in my Government, Politics, and Citizenship class, we were asked to consider whether or not our government meets the needs of our people and whether or not our government is “just”. As a heads up, this blog is pretty pessimistic and fairly subjective. It’s also pretty unstructured and quite subjective. From the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms, to the complications of gender and restroom usage, all the way to a woman’s right of abortion, controversy and discord exists and consistently threatens to overcome the sane, reasonable mind when it comes to American politics. It seems that, around every corner, every issue, whether domestic, local government, nationwide, cannot be resolved without the dissent from one, or even multiple parties involved. With this in mind, the question must be whether or not American politics will ever be “fair”? And who or what party involved has the right to define what is “fair”?
Let’s take a look at the dictionary definition of fair, in order to put into perspective what sort of relations and implications this word may have when it comes to politics in America. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, fair, or fairness, generally sums up to be something that is, “agreeable with what is thought to be right or acceptable” as well as “treating people in a way that does not favor some over others”. Right off the bat, there are a myriad of issues that one can come up with when trying to apply the dictionary definition of fairness to the United States Federal Government (USFG). Who or which party determines what “is thought to be right or acceptable” and how is it even remotely possibly to appease the countless groups of people with different opinions living in the U.S.? To be honest, I don’t have an answer to that question, I don’t think anyone does or ever will. Probably the most recent controversy that was discussed in my GPC class was a North Carolina ruling that forbade people from using bathrooms different from the gender inscribed on their birth certificate. This issue provoked intense discussion in our class of a meager ~15 people, with this in mind, it is unfathomable how it is feasible to ever hope to attain the consent and content of the millions of people across America. There are simply so many different perspectives one could take on the, but not nearly limited to, recent NC ruling as I discovered quickly. Thinking about this issue and extrapolating to the seemingly limitless controversies in America (just to provide a few examples: gun rights, abortion, electoral system, LGBTQ rights…etc.) simply brings one to consider more and more unanswerable questions. Is it right to simply make decisions based on majority ruling? Well, now that we’re asking ourselves that question, we may as well ask if democracy really is as fair as everyone makes it out to be?
I think an important question that outlines fairness and justice in America is the constant clash between “fairness” and “freedom”. By delving deeper into the myriad of controversies in America, it rapidly becomes apparent that in every situation, a chasm between opposing parties of “fairness” and “freedom” opens, with the bridge being an impossible answer. One of the reasons behind these questions that just bring people in circles is the colossal subjectivity that the definition of these words in conjunction with the 318.9 million Americans living in the U.S. today.
I started this blog by considering whether or not American politics are fair, but the definition of fair varies absurdly from person to person and the same can be said when asked to define freedom. In the end, it leaves me pretty drained when trying to consider such broad questions about American politics as it seems that we will never reach a definite answer as long as our governmental system remains the same.
With the recent occurrence of Ted Cruz dropping out of the presidential race, the future of America and American politics has never felt more bleak with the seemingly unpreventable horror that will be President Donald J. Trump. As time goes on, it’s hard to conclude anything but the fact that our government is progressing in the opposite direction of where we should be going. Through my studies in other courses, perhaps going backwards is really the way we can solve our issues with our government. Thomas More, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, people who lived hundreds of years ago, the ones who laid down the beginnings for modern society and government. By looking at the situation of today’s America, it truly seems that the only way we can fix our issues is to go backwards in time.