There are three candidates, two philosophies regarding democracy. The Democratic and Republican candidates seem to believe in the principles of democracy. The Conservative candidate seems blind to both the rights of others and what our democracy stands for. He should read this excerpt from the State Department publication Principles of Democracy:
“All democracies, while respecting the will of the majority, zealously protect the fundamental rights of individuals and minority rights. Democracies understand that one of their primary functions is to protect such basic human rights as freedom of speech and religion and the right to equal protection under the law. Democratic societies are committed to the values of tolerance, cooperation and compromise.”
Our history includes the Jim Crow era, marked by prejudice and discrimination, principles which our states eventually moved away from. Our nation also moved forward when all men over age 21 were given the right to vote (1870), when all women over age 21 were given the right to vote (1920) and when President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990). These acts served to broaden the protection rights of people and bring our country closer to the democracy it should be. Recognizing the legal rights of same-sex couples is in keeping with these democratic principles. Because the candidate does not understand this, it is clear he puts personal beliefs first, ahead of democratic ideals.
I disagree with the Conservative candidate, but I respect his God-given rights in our First Amendment and his right to equal protection under the law. He, however, has made it quite clear that he does not have the same respect for the rights of others. That is the real issue. If he and others with the philosophy that my God-given rights trump your God-given rights were elected, this government “of the people, by the people, for the people” could perish from the earth.