The right to vote is a freedom afforded by democratic rule, and has seen many civil conflicts fought to establish or maintain its integrity. While different social demographics have historically been denied this right on the grounds of race or sex at some time or another, the contemporary idea of democracy is inclusive of all individual factions and their belief systems, and seeks to discriminate against no single group or social circumstance. However, if we accept that the idea of voting is a privilege afforded by democracy, then there is an argument to ensure that citizens have earned and appreciate this right.

Balancing Democracy With the Well Being of the Country

While it is undoubtedly undemocratic and abhorrent to discriminate against voters on the generic grounds of race or sex, this is because it degenerates a specific social group without genuine purpose or foundation. However, this does not necessarily mean that every individual should automatically be afforded the right to vote, especially where they have chosen to segregate themselves from general society or hold divisive views that oppose the principles of democratic rule.

A similar logic applies to those who have a minimal interest in or knowledge of politics, who although retain the right not to vote are often pressurized by social expectation to do so. In this instance, individuals may vote without a broad or appreciable understanding of the prevalent social issues, which means that their input is misdirected and that the chosen government of the US may not be a reflection of their true support. Put simply, the drive to ensure that citizens vote could prove to be detrimental to the integrity of the final result.

Any of these circumstances can deter the course of democracy, and create a situation where the elected government regime is either unrepresentative or reflects the interests of those opposed to democracy. What the US and other democratic nations therefore need to assess is whether allowing everyone the right to vote is in the interests of society as a whole, and whether creating stipulations for eligibility could ever be enforced in a liberal rule. What must be elevated above all else is the integrity of the election process, and the importance of selecting a desired government.

Many democratic governments of today pride themselves on the measures they have implemented to challenge racism in their society, and will point to the reduced instances of racial abuse of hate crimes over the last 2 decades as evidence of their success. However, as news this broke this week that the police were investigating a wooden cross being burned outside the house of a mixed raced citizen in California, there is concern as to whether racism has been eroded from the social fabric or is merely lurking with intent beneath its cover.

More pointedly, it is fair to enquire as to whether governments have successfully challenged racist attitudes and theory, or simply forced its perpetrators to become more covert and organized in their operations. As the social climate has changed since the civil rights movement of the 1960’s, racism has been become increasingly unacceptable in society, but whether it’s values have been entirely rejected is debatable. One thing is for sure, and that is that racism will always been a feature of any society regardless of its meld of cultures or appreciation of knowledge.

Racism Through the Ages

Hostility or persecution between different races has existed since the dawn of civilization, with alternative epochs of time seeing different creeds, cultures and religions targeted by others. Historically, racism could be considered as being largely focused on religious groups and beliefs, as the absence of global interaction and multiculturalism meant that people of different cultures and skin colors did not mix within geographical locations. However, as immigration increased and America in particular became a weave of mixed culture, different creeds were forced to live together creating resentment and overt hostility.

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