Opinion Graphic fall 2020

In recent months, Republicans and Democrats have been accusing each other of attempting to undermine democracy, citing issues including alleged election fraud, COVID-19 protocols and a weakened economy. Many view the fierce debates on these issues as destructive, but it is debate that strengthens democracy and the nation.

Debating national and local issues has always been an integral part of American democracy, and without it, the United States would no longer be a free nation. When debates cease, the government can do as it sees fit, and the resulting policies never benefit the people, only the leaders.

Last week in California, there was a recall election for Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat. This election was an example of debating and democracy at its finest. Some were not satisfied with how their elected official was carrying out his duties, so Californians debated his merits and voted on whether he should remain in office.

Newsom won the vote and stayed in office, but even those who voted for his removal shared in a victory for democracy. While some were disappointed the governor remained in power, they were still able to voice their opinions through the months-long debate leading up to the recall vote.

Without citizens’ rights to free and public debate, Newsom might have never known the people were dissatisfied with his performance. The failed recall was still a boon for those calling for Newsom’s removal because they were able to air their grievances. Debates hold leaders accountable for their actions, in turn strengthening democracy.

The 2020 presidential election is a prime example of the value of debate being on full display. During election season, broadcasted debates allow candidates to inform voters of their opinions. These debates help voters know which politicians hold views close to their own.

Democracy is built on voting, and without the right leaders selected, the U.S. would not be the great nation it is today. There is still, however, a debate over election security in the United States.

Although elections in the U.S. are, in general, very secure, discussions on the topic can spur officials to investigate how to secure them even better. If this were not a topic of debate there would be no improvements and the nation would grow complacent.

The COVID-19 pandemic has strained every facet of life in the U.S. over the past year, sparking debates about issues like vaccine mandates, lockdowns and mask-wearing. These debates have made some people question if their rights are being violated.

These debates are beneficial because they show that leaders care about the welfare of their citizens and are working to protect them. If there were no discussions on the correct way to handle a pandemic, then government officials might choose a path without full consideration of various perspectives.

In recent months, there have been fears about inflation and when the federal reserve will begin to taper its bond-buying. Top economists voice their opinions on these issues, debating the best course of action.

Without such debates the economy could spiral out of control. Debates not only help resolve problems, but they also show people are working toward a greater purpose, with the goal of strengthening the nation and in this case, the economy.

Political controversy is often viewed negatively, but debates strengthen the core of democracy. If there were no debates, then leaders could pass any law any time, taking freedom away from the people and straying from America’s blueprint.

Though there is much dissent plaguing the nation, democracy is built to withstand pressure. There have always been monumental political debates, and each time the nation endures and becomes stronger by way of struggle.

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