UNJUST DOMINION A Government by the Minority In January, the House of Representatives that will be sworn in will not represent the American People. The House will have 233 Republican representatives and 201 Democratic representatives. However, a straight count of the votes cast for the House shows that about one million more Americans voted Democrat than Republican, with about 58 million voting Republican and 59 million voting Democrat. For the next two years, control of the legislative branch falls in the hands of Congressmen representing a minority of Americans. The minority is set to impose its will on the majority. Minority control is contrary to the spirit of the national republic created by our Founding Fathers, which envisioned a republic as a nation in which the supreme power rests with all the citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives elected by them and responsible to them. A minority-controlled House was never envisioned by the Framers of the Constitution. In 1788, James Madison said, It is essential to such a Government that it be derived from the great body of the society, not from an inconsiderable proportion, or a favored class of it; otherwise a handful of tyrannical nobles, exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers, might aspire to the rank of republicans, and claim for their Government the honorable title of republic. It is sufficient for such a Government that the persons administering it be appointed, either directly or indirectly, by the people; otherwise every Government in the United States, as well as every other popular Government that has been or can be well organized or well executed, would be degraded from the republican character (Federalist 39). Maybe James Madison was, not just a brilliant political mind, but also a prophet. Was he referring to those republicans as citizens of a republic, or did he envision the usurpation by the Grand Old Party, the tyrannical nobles of our day? How did we reach this point where minority representatives are able to exercise their oppressions? When the Framers met in Philadelphia they envisioned a Government where Americans selected representatives from their neighborhoods and sent them to Washington to act in their best interest. The Framers believed that this Government design would provide representation for all Americans, balancing the natural conflicting interests between the North and the South, farmers and industrialists, big and small states, city dwellers and villagers, etc. A few years after the Constitution was adopted, political parties emerged as effective associations that allowed citizens with common interests to further their goals using the power of numbers. The idea of political parties was not well received by those who believed that parties would subvert the republican principles. George Washington, in his farewell address of 1796, said, However combinations or associations of the above description [i.e., parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of Government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion. Madison and Washingtons worst fears have become reality. The omnipresence of parties in the political arena has created a situation in which our representative-selection process, which was not designed for political parties, has resulted in the unjust dominion by the Republicans. Republicans may argue that it is a fair system, that they represent the people that voted for them, that the rules apply equally to all parties, that we are a federation of states, that the next time it may be the other way around, etc. But all those arguments, based on anecdotal facts, cannot overcome the ultimate truth that Republicans exercise, using the words of Washington, an unjust dominion over Americas political life. We present ourselves to the world as the ultimate holders and defenders of democratic values. But how can we honestly say that we are the best democracy in the world? How can we chastise the savage dictatorship of al-Assad in Syria, the single-choice of so-called democracy in China, the corrupt methods of Putin in Russia, the Banana Republic of Chavez in Venezuela, the religious tyranny of Iran? In the end, all they do is protect the rights of a minority, just like the Republicans. If the Republican minority exercises unjust dominion over the majority, are we any better? If Republicans want to lead the nation, Republicans must ponder the will of the nation. Selfishly attending to the desires of some arbitrarily-created districts, while ignoring Americans will, is morally pervert. The Republicans only merit for holding the upper hand is their cunning ability to command the district delineation process. This countrys economic recovery cannot suffer another biennial dysfunctional legislature with House and Senate in permanent disagreement. The good news is that our Founding Fathers not only created the best political system of the time, but also realized that aiming at perfection is a never-ending process. They included a provision for amending the Constitution to continue improving Government, and to adjust this Governments contract with the People to the realities of changing times. It does not seem that political parties will disappear anytime soon. We must accept that political parties are a key component of Government and the system must be adapted to accommodate this reality. Also, no one can deny that the Federalists won and, consequently, we have a monolithic central Government. If Madison saw us today, he would celebrate the strong nation that he helped create, but he would be furious that it is controlled by an elitist minority. Despite the federal intent behind the Tenth Amendment, the states are left with little responsibilities, basically managing police, fire, infrastructure, and real estate. All major policy issues are resolved in Washington. The official-electing processes must be adapted to reflect the reality of national parties and national leaders, instead of sending representatives from arbitrarily-created districts. Let the states select their own Governments democratically, but when it comes to the nation, we should have national elections where all votes carry the same weight. We have a unique way of selecting representatives based on congressional districts, but other countries have different methods, such as presenting party lists to the electorate. Each party enters a list of representatives, and the number of representatives allocated to the party is based on the number of votes received. If a party gets 20 representatives, the top 20 in the list go to Congress. If they get 30, then 30 go to Congress. Also, the elections of representatives and President are not independent processes, and are interrelated to avoid having a President without the support of Congress. In the UK, the Prime Minister is named by the monarch as the leader of the party or coalition holding the majority of votes in the House of Commons. Changing to a system that elects a Government supported by the majority of Americans should not be difficult. We must consider that, typically, Americans choose President and Congressmen from the same party. A system that elects the president by national majority vote, and assigns the number of representatives in proportion to the number of votes, would work. Another arrangement where the majority in the House would choose the President could also be effective. President Obama, called a constitutional scholar by his acolytes, knows that change is possible. In fact, change is what he promised. In 2007, he told us in his Declaration of Candidacy, the genius of our founders is that they designed a system of Government that can be changed. Obama must think that our system of Government is perfect because he has not done anything to improve our Constitution. He criticized the federal courts when they declared parts of Obamacare unconstitutional, and also criticized the holding in the landmark case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, where the Supreme Court said that the First Amendment prohibited the Government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions because they are people too. Just criticism, no action. No real steps taken to solve our Constitutional problems. Obama has gone from, Yes We Can to the defeatist attitude of, You can't change Washington from the inside. We, the People, have grown accustomed to tolerate an imperfect, sometimes absurd, Government system. We dont flinch when we hear democratic aberrations such as battleground states, four presidents elected by minority vote, law-making judges, filibusters, judges voting along party lines, superdelegates, corporations are people, 25,000-dollars-a-plate dinners, Super PACs, congressmen flying in corporate jets, etc. Maybe Obama, now facing a contrarian House of Representatives elected by a minority, will be motivated to finally act and Amend to improve our system. We must believe that Washington can change from the inside. When there is a problem, we fix it. That is the American way. Well, at least for anything in America other than politics. It is time to fix the unjust dominion by the tyrannical nobles of our day. The parties must stop their incessant bickering to start finding common ground and do whats right, to do what Americans want. Republicans, Democrats, and the President must work together to find the natural common ground of a fair system for all. Mr. President; Republicans; Democrats Yes, we can. We can go forward. We can Amend.