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Ciboski: The Democratic System Reflects The Public Mood

After Mitt Romney was defeated with a stinging 332-206 loss in the electoral college in 2012, the Republican National Committee commissioned a report suggesting what the party needed to do to be a majority party.

The release of the report four months after the election was clear in its conclusion that the Republican Party was out of touch with the broader electorate. The report noted the party’s problems with minorities, women, and young people. It said Republicans should be trying to bring more people under the party’s tent, but instead they seemed to be ostracizing large numbers of potential voters. The report urged the party to broaden its base by being more inclusive of Hispanic, Black, Asian, and gay Americans, as well as female voters, whom Republicans were failing to recruit in large numbers.

President Donald Trump appears not to have followed any of this advice in building the party. Come November, voters will have had four years to decide whether Trump deserves another four years as president. It is important to ask if Donald Trump embodies the American spirit, and if he truly reflects us. We are whom we elect, and governments vary as the character of people vary. The government of the United States is whatever it is because the people are whatever they are.

In the 1830s, the Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville traveled America and he observed that the real power in the United States lies with the national representation. The American people cannot rely on officials in the administration to control fully what Trump does. We must give attention to the kinds of people we elect to Congress. It is important to remember that the democratic system reflects the public mood. If we are angry, greedy, and highly partisan, our representatives will be, too. We get the president and the Congress we deserve.

Dr. Ken Ciboski is an associate professor emeritus of political science at Wichita State University.