Basic Principles Of Democracy Essay, Research Paper
The United States of America has five basic principles which ensure the ability of the country. The basic foundations: fundamental worth, equality of all persons, majority rule minority rights, necessity of compromise, and ividual freedom. This paper reviews three of the five principles: majority rule and minority rights, individual freedom, and necessity of compromise. Two of these cases of individual freedom plus majority rule and minority rights the United States has failed to uphold. The third case on individual freedom is an undecided case at this point. The United States must not ignore these ations importance making judicial decision or the stability of the country is at risk.
Majority rule and minority rights is a basic foundation of democracy. A
general concept of this foundation is that the popular vote will be the deciding
party in most cases. Along with this concept the minority of the people will
maintain certain basic human rights that will not be compromised by the popular
vote. A challenge to this principle occurred when Asheville City district zoning was voted on many years ago, and unfortunately was passed. The rules and
restrictions that are accompanied by zoning are phenomenal. In many cases the
taxes rise depending on how property is zoned. For example, if property is zoned as commercial property the taxes are considerably higher than if property was in a residential area. Consequently the minority here is being punished. More permits must be acquired and plans must be approved before anything can be
done to ones own land. Zoning was voted in by the majority, however the
minority s rights were not completely maintained. People need to maintain
certain basic rights, and these rights pertain to what they may do to their
property. Justification of how the government failed to honor this basic
Individual freedom is by far one of the most important foundations to a
democracy s survival. Individual freedom is difficult to define, though a general meaning is illustrated by a quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes, The right to swing my fist ends where another man s nose begins. Enforcing people to wear their seat belt against their will is an example of how America has failed to secure the one of most important foundation of democracy. People should have the right to choose whether or not they wear their seat belt. The American government and the North Carolina government specifically passed a law which makes all passengers in the front seat, no matter what age, wear their safety belts. In some states when a passenger is seated in the back seat of the vehicle and above a certain age it is his choice. When people do not wear their seat belt they do not hurt the other drivers. When one refers to Mr. Holmes s quote, the other man s nose has not yet begun, and will not begin from not wearing a safety belt. In fact they only put their own personal life in danger. Why must people be regulated to wear them? If you don t listen to the government you could be fined a ticket. Every aspect of this law invades and diminishes the ideal of individual freedom. People should be able to choose whether or not to wear their safety belt without having the fear that they might be fined a ticket. It is referred to as a victimless crime. The only victim is the person who is forced to wear their seat belt.
The third foundation of democracy is the necessity of compromise. This is defined as that whatever number of parties there may be, each must give up some of their demands to reach a fair agreement. A current case that is at the Supreme Court level is a fine example of how the United States should rule to honor this foundation. Troxel Vs. Granville is the case at hand, concerning the lives of two grandchildren who are not allowed to see their paternal grandparents. Visitation rights is what the grandparents are seeking to attain. Gary and Jennifer Troxel are both physically and mentally capable of being with their two grandchildren, but instead have been forbidden by their daughter-in-law. Brad Troxel, the father of these two children committed suicide six years ago. The mother forbids visitation rights at all. To uphold the necessity of compromise, visitation rights must be granted to these loving, caring, and able grandparents. These children will lose out on a colossal amount of family history and values unless the Supreme Court rules in favor of the grandparents. Grandparents may not be a part of the nuclear family (father, mother, and children). However with the absence of the father they already lack a nuclear family to learn from. A compromise must be made to save these children and their grandparents from all the grief that is being caused by the children s mother. This is the only way to uphold this basic foundation.
Any person who sees these examples might worry that the United States of
America has simply failed to structure a sound foundation of democracy for
itself. Horrifying as it is, many cases such as the three in this paper show facts do not lie. Anyone has the capability to see how the United States government has failed to follow a sound basis. There is of course the possibility of choosing the right sentence in giving the grandparents visitation rights which would show a glimmer of hope of the American government lasting.