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Imagine you are one of 100 men and women whose votes would decide the future of more than 330 million people. Unfortunately, the requirement to pass any issue is frequently not determined by a simple voting. For some strange reason, an unwritten rule, not a part of the Constitution, 60 votes are required to approve nearly everything. This translates into one frightening fact. The vote of one man or woman could force any issue into a failure, regardless of its importance and the wishes of the American people. Welcome to the United States Senate.
It is entirely fair to claim that our government is the worst in the world. Politics and personal ambitions have become the priority in Washington: the people are no longer part of the conversation.
In 2020 the American people put Democrats in power. Joe Biden is in the White House. Democrats control the House. The Senate is split, 50-50, with Vice-President Kamala Harris the deciding vote. However, the “filibuster” requires 60 votes to pass any critical legislation.
Ever the hypocrite, Mitt Romney supports the filibuster. He has no valid reason, except for keeping power for the minority party, today’s fake Republicans.
“If the Democrats say: ‘Look, we’re going to eliminate the filibuster just for voting rights,’ I can assure you that the opposition party, when we are in the majority, will eliminate the filibuster for something else,” said Romney. “And it’ll be goodbye to the Senate as we know it.”
Is he naïve, or just plain stupid? The Senate is worthless today, and nothing’s going to change that situation. Deliberation and compromise no longer exist, which guarantees complete dysfunction for the next three+ years.
The truth is that both parties benefit by eliminating this 60-vote mandate. A simple majority forces both parties to talk to each other. A democratic republic can only survive in a ‘give and take’ situation. If compromise is not included in the negotiations, our government is worthless.
Our most important right as citizens of the United States is our vote. However, over the last 40 years, this right has been challenged. Voter suppression is the popular choice for red states. In Washington, extremists continue to block the passage of bills that would improve the lives of the working class. Today’s Republican Party in name only continues to support special interests and ignore the working class. Thanks to the Electoral College, votes for our president are often wasted. If this unfair process did not exist, the two worst presidents in history would not have lived in the White House: Bush 43 and Donald Trump.
Eliminating the filibuster is a start. This would return some of the democracy eradicated by right-wing politicians over the last 40+ years.
The most important thing you can do is vote in every local, state, and federal election. The second in demand term limits for congress and the Supreme Court. And third, become an informed citizen. Know the truth about the men and women who receive your precious votes.
Op-ed by James Turnage
The Washington Post: Please Go On with James Hohmann: Mitt Romney says it’s filibuster or bust
Fulcrum: Conservatives should be loudly clamoring for filibuster reform; by Eric Carlson
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of NATO’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License