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posted on 03 February 2016

American Democracy and Discrimination

Written by

America is a young country. Yet, its short history is fraught with a long list of conflicts between voting rights and discrimination (U.S. voting rights timeline). Here is my succinct position:

  1. Gender discrimination is wrong!
  2. Racial discrimination is wrong!
  3. Age discrimination is a must! Specifically, a stricter version of age discrimination for both voters and the American Presidency is a must for American democracy to have any chance to survive!

1. Gender discrimination

American women did not have the right to vote until 1920, when the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia - Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (against Gender Discrimination):

The Nineteenth Amendment (Amendment XIX) to the United States Constitution prohibits any United States citizen from being denied the right to vote on the basis of sex. It was ratified on August 18, 1920. The Constitution allows the states to determine the qualifications of voters, subject to limitations imposed by later amendments. Until the 1910s, most states disenfranchised women. The amendment was the culmination of the women's suffrage movement in the United States, which fought at both state and national levels to achieve the vote. It effectively overruled Minor v. Happersett, in which a unanimous Supreme Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment did not give women the right to vote.

2. Racial discrimination

Racial discrimination in voting was endemic in America until 1965, when the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia - Voting Rights Act of 1965:

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a landmark piece of federal legislation in the United States that prohibits racial discrimination in voting.[7][8] It was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson during the height of the American Civil Rights Movement on August 6, 1965, and Congress later amended the Act five times to expand its protections.[7] Designed to enforce the voting rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the Act resulted in the mass enfranchisement of racial minorities throughout the country, especially in the South. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Act is considered to be the most effective piece of civil rights legislation ever enacted in the country.[9]

3. Age discrimination

Age matters, from drinking & smoking to voting! Here is a recent news story from Chicago: Raising smoking age from 18 to 21 gains attraction.

We must introduce a stricter version of age discrimination for both voters and the American Presidency in order for American democracy to have any chance to survive!

For voters, we must repeal the Twenty-sixth Amendment, which lowers the minimum voting age from 21 to 18! For more, read: Repealing the Twenty-Six Amendment!

For qualifying the American Presidency, we have failed to adapt to the changing times by leaving the minimum age at 35 - unchanged since 1776! Additionally, we should cap the starting age at 65, in order to insure our president has the experience on par with the Chinese President, since China is our chief competitor for the 21st century. For more, read: American Presidency: Starting at Age 55-65!

Any doubt about the inadequacy of our system for the American Presidency? Look at the current GOP field: both Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are trying to talk their way into the White House, just like Senator Obama did in 2008! Why don’t they try to gain some executive experience (e.g. governorship) before seeking the highest office in the nation? Because our system allows them to do so! For more, read: 2016 GOP Presidential Candidates; Style over Substance!

4. Discussion

America was built as a representative republic, with a limited and extremely distorted version of democracy, as only some rich old white men could vote initially. For example, when George Washington was elected the first President in 1789, only 6% of the population could vote (U.S. voting rights timeline)!

Guided by some great founding principles (e.g. equality), America finally evolved into a true democracy (one person, one vote) in 1965 (Voting Rights Act of 1965)!

How has American democracy been doing since 1965?

Not very well, really! Specifically, American democracy enjoyed a good ride on the back of America's superb capitalism (as well as America's abundant natural resources) until the turn of the 21st century, when the bottom fell out. Since then, America has been in a steep decline (Civil Rights Act: 50 Years Later), to the point that it has become questionable whether American democracy would even out-last Soviet communism in longevity (Longevity: American Democracy vs. Soviet Communism)!

Fortunately for America, I believe I have the most accurate diagnosis for America (Diagnosis for America (Version 3)) as well as the best solution (Solution for America (Version 3)), of which a stricter version of age discrimination is a critical part.

5. Closing

America, reform our political system as I have suggested (Solution for America (Version 3)), or become an also-ran, second to China!

Specifically, it’s time to get serious about this election! Below is my winning ticket. For more, read: The 2016 GOP Ticket: Kasich-Martinez!

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