Education is regarded as one of the major issues that are of concern to the citizens of the United States. Improving the standards of education and increasing access to higher education through government subsidy and equitable distribution of resources.
Democracy and the Resolution of the Issue
Democratization allows the public to give their views and go ahead to choose the kind of governance that best fulfill their need. Each kind of governance will carry with it various policies on issues like health, education, economy, environment, government operations, and even culture. The freedom to express one’s opinion on a policy issue often leads to an influx of divergent views upon which proper decision making may not be achieved and this creates a debate on the efficiency of democracy on policy enactment. This has been witnessed in policies related to education in the U.S. Educational policies in the United States have had continued criticisms and evaluation in the recent past. While it is worth acknowledging the fact that the institutions of higher learning in the United States are ranked atop the list in the world, there is still a debate on whether the standard of education has improved or not in the recent past. The public then generally comes to a consensus that there is a need to improve the standards whichever its current state.
However, there is a little disagreement on how to make improvements on educational standards. The two different categories, that is, the liberal advocates and the conservatives, differ on their views on the right education policies that can help improve the standards of education. The liberal advocates feel that more funds need to be pumped into the education sector to help create a good working environment for the teachers. They feel that the teachers are still being underpaid compared to their colleagues in other fields and this may demoralize them. They also advocate for fair distribution of resources to be used in education. The conservatives feel that much fund has been spent in the sector with little yield obtained. They insist that the policies related to education should be controlled at the state level and local level. This move, however, has some disadvantages to the poor who may not cope with the system.
Therefore, the different views caused by democracy may impede the final resolution to education matters.
Democracy Leads to Political Instability
One of the criticisms that have been made concerning democracy is its dynamic nature that has often contributed to political unrest in various political communities. A good study of any democratic government would call for a review of the history of the government from when it was formed to the present period. The decision-making processes, even in the states that are perceived to have had an excellent democratic descent, are still at risk due to the conflicting views on the true meaning of democracy to the citizens.
The democratic rights of the citizens to elect their new governments have often led to an emergence of new policies almost with every new government. It has also been observed that the mere application of the principle majority as a democratic tool has never fully met the role of democracy and that additional emphasis need to be put on the final effects that such a decision will have on the different people involved. Democracy is thus understood as a process that is yet subjected to various developments and not a predefined set of norms and decision-making procedures. As Archibugi described, ‘democracy should be seen as an endless process, such that we lack the ability to predict today the direction in which the future generation will push the reforms of contestations, participation, and management. In this context, democracy will be seen as being specific to a particular state or community. The failure to have a standard upon which democracy can be based will allow room for misuse of powers even by a politically stable state.
Malicious leaders will use tools such as the media houses to spread egocentric propaganda as a tool of attacking their political opponents and this has often led to unrest. However, the fate of such leaders is in the hands of the citizens who can opt to reelect or drop them. The evaluation of the performance of the government system will then be subject to the political history of the state and the present level of democracy in the state. It is then evident that if democracy is practiced to the letter, there will be a universal scale for measuring the level of performance of different government systems.
Democracy leads to a mob rule
The other critique of democracy is that provided by Plato. In his work Republic, Plato is completely portrayed as being anti-democratic and anti-liberal by his famous theory of social justice. He believes that democracy gives much more strength to the freedom of individuals than it does to knowledge acquisition. Plato feels that this democracy will suppress the minority in a given community. Besides, he proceeds to unearth the possibility of tyrant leaders who will preach water during their campaigns and drink otherwise afterward.
On one hand, these views are to some extent valid. Plato believes that if the rule of the majority in the decision-making process was exclusively allowed to take the course without a constitutional intervention, then a kind of government would be witnessed in which the minority in a particular political community is completely overruled by the majority. Indeed, the interest of the minority also needs to be addressed in any community. It needs not to be considered only as a social issue but as a political issue as well if democracy has to fulfill its role of freedom and equality. Plato suggests for instance, that the public needs to be well educated to enable them to make proper decisions. In as much as democracy advocates for equity, there are disadvantaged individuals within societies who are often subject to similar treatments. In fact, this is equivalent to creating an equal platform for unequal parties. The result of this is what Plato likens to the mob rule, which he describes as a rule characterized by a lot of disorders and inequity. A more practical approach needs to be put in place to ensure real equity.
On the other hand, Plato’s view of a true democracy may not be easy to achieve. A community will always have people of different cultures and traditions. The proponents of deliberative democracy extend to incorporate gender issues in practicing democracy, which causes yet another argument. The diversity in the community needs to be greatly considered, but a single procedure that may be developed to serve the interest of every member of the society will be an ideal situation that is hard to come true. This then leads to the resolution to use a certain criterion that acts as a line of best fit in serving the interest of the community.
It is worth noting that if the right democracy is practiced by governments, then the above criticisms fail to hold. Firstly, provided the electorate is not politically influenced during the elections and if they understand the policies being sold to them, democracy will not cause political instability. Secondly, if the right procedures are outlined and eventually put to use, then most of the members of the community will be considered in any decision-making process. The few who will be disadvantaged have to understand that such a decision was the optimum that could be reached having the whole community in mind.
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