THE BLOG
05/02/2012 01:03 pm ET | Updated Jul 02, 2012

Are Michigan Republicans Scared of Democracy?

It might seem like an odd idea, but recent proposals, changes, and questionable intentions make this question worth answering. My previous post published on December 22, 2011 identifies ways the current elected state officials have radically transformed and reduced democracy. Two new components to this on going onslaught are the discussion of voter identification and the rejection of the petition to place the emergency manager law on the ballot.

State governments are subject to corruption as what happened in the state of Indiana. During the 1920s, Indiana's state government was ruled by the Ku Klux Klan. The reason for bringing up such an extreme case is to show how even in an honestly elected government, power can be obtained by those who are misguided, disconnected, and morally corrupt. How often is it that a government would make so many changes to the way in which people engage with decision makers?

It is not a subtle and ingenious observation to see when one political faction gains too much power (or total power) they try to wheel such power for their own benefit. The observation to look out for is when this faction uses their power beyond the intention of their own frame. This frame is the state constitution, federal constitution, and more importantly the ideals this nation was founded on. No matter who is in control, the people of the nation hold the ultimate power. It is the collective voting of the electorate that secures and defines the sovereign state.

But as with all politics, it can come down to politics. It is no wonder the Republicans in control would make it more difficult for people to vote or to limit the citizens' right to direct democracy. After specifically injuring local democracy through emergency financial managers, they want to keep it this way so they can remain in power. It is a casual observation that the municipalities and school districts threatened or imposed by a manager are in heavily minority dominated areas. With the first non-white United States president seeking reelection, Republicans must be feeling the pressure of being tossed out of office one term after they had gained complete control. The latest actions taken by this legislature intentionally seek to prevent people to vote for President Obama and thus preventing people from voting along party lines against Republicans.

Republicans could be scared of democracy for a number of reasons. They could be scared that it will take away what they grabbed in voters kneejerk reaction of the last election. They could be scared of not being able to wield their power for backdoor lobbyist influence which undermines the current productive governing on all levels. This is when a government has lost the confidence of their people. When officials seek to limit involvement of the people, retain their own power, and claim not to be able to read the font of democracy's loudest voice, there is a breakdown. This is an occurrence when power can be abused to throw out contracts as they see fit, ignore the petition of the people, and limit who can freely vote. Let us thank the foresight of the founding fathers to have bestowed the last resort of the courts, which may be the only recourse.