Thomas Oatway | Democracy in Action

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

I have heard a lot of talk about the demise of our democracy. I decided to look up the definition of democracy to see what they are talking about. Webster’s defines democracy (I am paraphrasing) as a system of government where the people rule by the majority, and where representation involves periodically held free elections. There is also the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges.  

What could be wrong with that? Well, some people might not be capable of making thoughtful decisions. This might include anyone who thinks that the world is flat, the moon landing was staged, or vaccines cause autism, change DNA, inject us with markers for spying on us, and make us magnetic. If you think that these are absurd beliefs, I have news for you. If we decide that these are disqualifiers for voting, there goes a significant portion of our population. Will we still be a democracy if we do? I say yes. 

Some have decided to enact legislation that makes it harder to vote, and “counts” votes to favor a particular candidate or party. That would seem to be undemocratic, since in a democracy the majority rules, and fairly held elections should determine our representation. On Jan. 6, we saw 138 House members and seven senators vote not to certify an election that was free of fraud and represented the will of the people. Most who voted that this election was tainted were actually voted into their offices in the same election. One who voted not to certify was our elected Rep. Mike Garcia. He won his election by about 300 votes. His opponent did not cry “foul” or ask for a recount. That was democracy in action, not words.  

Thomas Oatway 


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