Last updated on February 1, 2016
Dustin W. Hodges
The ability for Americans to have a voice in our government was created by centuries of men putting their lives on the line, however in modern day America the average citizen has no interest in politics, resulting in an abysmally low fifty percent voting rates, and this is the high percentages during presidential elections.
Having no desire to vote, and exercise the right of consent of the governed is a direct slap in the face to not only our founding fathers, but also all political theorists.
Living in a world of ruling elites, and a vast separation of classes, Plato and Aristotle could not envision a world of true equality, yet still developed the concept that the state and the citizens are not separate. They set the building blocks for majority consensus, and thus consent of the governed.
This belief would be expounded upon by Martin Luther King Junior to include all peoples, not just one race, gender or class.
Living under a sovereign ruler, Thomas Hobbes developed the belief that the sovereign is bound by consent, and could be removed if that contract is broken.
Not be left out, Thomas Aquinas believed rulers should be part of the aristocracy, while being chosen by the people; thus continuing the long developed theory eventually put into practice by the Declaration and Constitution of the United States, consent of the governed.
The aforementioned political and religious thinkers all developed slightly different ideas for how their respective countries should operate, yet all had a major concept in common. It took thousands of years for the concept of consent of the governed to come into practice, and thankfully it was practiced here, in the good ole’ USA.
John Adams and his fellow patriots risked their lives so future generations could have the freedoms and liberties outlined by theorists over time. In creation of the United States, these men created the ability for everyday citizens, and over time this would evolve into every adult, the ability to have a say in who governs their lives.
Every adult American should embrace their ability to practice consent of the governed, being ignorant on issues is not an excuse; not voting is like slapping Plato, Aquinas, Adams and Martin Luther King Jr. in the face and saying, “your efforts were pointless.”
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