Public Political Participation in United States Government

The United States of America was established through the bloody and arduous endeavors of federalists such as George Washington and John Adams. In the famous Declaration of Independence, the patriots who fought for the freedom of the colonies from the British monarch include in their nationalist exposition that the government they intend to create shall derive its just power from the consent of the governed. They also exclaim the absolute power of the people to establish and abolish any government that does not anymore adhere to their ideals and principles and has become tyrannical and despotic. The Declaration of Independence provides that if the government of any form becomes destructive against the inherent rights of the people to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, it is the solemn and fundamental right and duty of the citizens to alter or to abolish such political structure. These provisions of the Declaration of Independence were intended to avoid the repetition of abuses, tyranny, and despotism in the future.

In view of the foregoing, the framers of the Constitution of the United States of America made sure that the people should be given the widest expanse of participation in governance and politics. The most basic manifestation of this endeavor for wide and substantial political participation of the largest number of citizens is through the structure and form of the government itself. Viewed broadly, the United States government has a federal or national and state level of governance. These levels already make sure that people are provided with venues for participation in governance and politics both nationally and locally. But a closer scrutiny of this structure reveals that there is a more localized and devolutionized form of politics and governance. This is the local state or otherwise in the forms of cities, towns, counties, and districts. In these levels, government officials are more personally in touch with the citizens. The people personally feel the presence of their government as if it is just their neighbor that they can visit and talk to anytime of the day. Although this situation varies according to the size of population and land area of the political subdivision, it is certain though that people of these local governments are more politically participative and socially aware as they tackle more personal and directly related issues. This form and structure of the United States government is directly in consonance with the principle that government is by the people and for the people as enshrined in both historical texts of Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.

Every government has its own style, form, and structure of government. In the case of the United States, this structure has been widely followed by most countries all over the world due to its tried and tested experience that effectively engages the people by providing them with various venues for political participation and by way of responsiveness to the citizens’ needs and plights. Indeed, a government that truly represents the people is one that allows the widest and most substantial participation from its citizens in every governmental, political, social, and economic decisions.