In terms of public actions, there are few more selfish acts than voting. Voting is an individual act: a vote for or against a candidate or a ballot question is ultimately a reflection of that voters’ interests and value-judgments. And a reflection of that voters’ interests and value-judgments alone. The voting booth asks citizens to grade politicians. The metric for this evaluation? The individual’s interests and the degree to which they have been protected by…View More Voting Is Selfish. Which Is Why Get-Out-The-Vote Drives Are Unseemly.
In the vernacular, the role of representatives is most often understood in terms of how they service the interests of the polity: the average citizen is busy and involved in his or her own life and has neither the time, inclination or requisite knowledge to make informed political choices. Or so the reasoning goes. Enter the representative, who fulfills one of two roles, depending upon whether one buys into the delegate or trustee model of…View More Congressional Representatives Should Secure Rights, Not Interests
Political reform, whether it favors sweeping institutional overhauls or looks to fixes tailored towards more narrow problems, operates under the assumption that government dysfunction ultimately stems from some flaw within government. This statement might seem blatantly tautological, but in fact it reflects a deeper problem with American politics: a fundamental misunderstanding of the complex role of the polity in structuring and directing the machinations of government institutions. Though “democracy” is likely the first word that…View More The Missing Element of Political Reform Debates
The aftermath of the 2016 election is a tale of two separate and competing definitions of equality. To those lobbying for the abolition of the electoral college, egalitarianism is expressed directly through the popular vote, which embodies the will of the simple majority—the only gauge necessary for determining what is “fair.” To those who remain staunchly behind the electoral college, egalitarianism is slightly more nuanced. There is no moral mandate behind a majority by numbers.…View More Defining equality in the American political system