Chapter 10 Essay and Discussion
Campaigns and Elections
In chapter ten of We The People (Ginsberg, et.al.) we discuss why elections is a fundamental for a democracy. According to We The People, “United States citizens self govern by choosing candidates and electing leaders to represent them in government.” In this chapter we discuss the election process and how politics have changed and evolved over time. Our most recent presidential election is discussed in depth due to the many different aspects of the political process that was brought to light by the candidates and the media.
Although we are a self-governed society, it is important that we do not solely operate buy a democratic system but also a republic one. American citizens vote in primary elections choosing their presidential candidate. But Americans do not directly vote for the president. The electoral college elected by the people in a “winner takes all” system which is made up of state representatives chosen by a majority of votes according to their district (Ginsberg, et.al.). The electoral college promises to vote for their parties candidate. The electoral college has the power to choose candidate of their choosing, but a majority of the time they vote according to their party.
Our most recent presidential candidate Donald Trump won the presidential seat by securing the majority of electors despite having received less votes by the American people. Many Americans have called a for the electoral college to be abolished an proposed an alternative form of voting. But abolishing the electoral college would mean to amend the constitution. This would be a very difficult accomplishment and so some have suggested changes in how the electoral college is chosen.
Our last presidential election was unique in that Americans had their first female presidential candidate in the primary election. Hillary Clinton was a well known candidate as she was the first lady in 1993 when her husband Bill Clinton took office, she was a senator for the state of New York, and she was also the secretary of state under President Obama’s administration (Ginsberg, et.al.). Presidential Candidate Donald Trump was also known to the American Public. He is known as a real estate tycoon and reality television star for the (Ginsberg,et.al). Both candidates were opposed by many Americans for different reasons.
Hillary Clinton (Democrat) although a well known politician was opposed by many because she offered no real change in the current political climate. Hillary Clinton would later refer to Donald Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables”. Donald Trump (Republican) was opposed by many due to his lack of experience and because of his speech the speech he made when announcing his candidacy. He most notably said that many Mexican immigrants were “drug dealers, rapists, and thieves”. Both candidates had strong oppositions from within their own political parties, which showed in the results of the election. The President was chosen by the electoral college, that did not hold the majority of votes. This may have been the result of protest votes towards both primary candidates. A unified political party or the lack there of, was how the 2016 presidential election was one. The primary elections of 2016 showed increase in youth voters, but the 2016 presidential election showed a lack of voter turn out overall (Ginsberg, et. al.). It is important to remember that “power to the people” means we as citizens have the power and duty to be active political participants, so that we might enact the change we wish to see in our government.
We The People, 2017. (Ginsberg, et. al.)