The Filibuster: What Is It and Why Does It Exist?

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Courtesy of Bjoertvedt (Wikimedia CC0)

Facts: the so-called filibuster is not mentioned in the Constitution. Republicans are desperate to remain in power. This is a trick created by fake Republicans to deny the people of the United States control of our nation’s future.

All too often, we are given irrefutable proof that the government of the United States of America is the most corrupt, self-serving in the free world. Unfortunately, this fact has become more evident over the last 40 years.

The filibuster began in the 1700s. It was upheld in 1806. It allowed senators unlimited deliberations about an issue, made famous in the Jimmy Stewart movie, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” In 1975, it was changed to require a 60-vote majority to pass legislation. This was an obvious effort to deny the party in power to succeed in their agenda, giving the minority greater power over the future of our nation. Although the people decide which party receives control over the executive and legislative branches, the filibuster defeats the wishes of the voting public.

Courtesy of Penn State (Flickr CC0)

President Obama called the filibuster “a Jim Crow relic.” It is an antiquated policy that has failed consistently and created a dysfunctional government.

Voting rights advocates have demanded an end to the process which denies the will of the people. For too long, our elected officials have ignored the needs and wishes of 333.5 million Americans. Instead, they have chosen to rule over us and not represent us, although the right-wing promises to do so before every election.

Abandoning the filibuster would end control of one entire party by special interests. Moreover, every vote cast by the electorate would become significant if one party was given power over which laws were passed and could be defeated by a simple majority vote.

These facts have never been more important than in 2021. The Senate is split, 50-50, with Kamala Harris in a position to decide the outcome of a tie. However, President Biden’s agenda, designed to serve the majority, has been challenged constantly by the Trump Party and two senators who call themselves democrats, although they take the position of right-wing politicians most of the time; Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.

Progressives are demanding an end to three archaic policies. Changing the atmosphere in Washington requires three changes: eliminating the filibuster, repealing the Electoral College, and establishing term limits for Congress.

Finally, the truth: Moscow Mitch McConnell’s party will literally do anything to maintain the filibuster, Electoral College, and prevent term limits. Eliminating any one of these policies would increase their difficulty to win elections, and with the elimination of all three, their power in Washington would become nothing but a memory.

A note to all American voters: do not underestimate your power. Phone text or e-mail your senators and demand the changes necessary to save our democratic republic. We can eliminate control by extremists and force our elected officials to return to policies of deliberation and compromise, which will serve all of our nation’s people.

Get involved by becoming informed: this is your country, not theirs.

Op-ed by James Turnage


Politico: Frustrated voting-rights advocates claw for opening on Senate filibuster
The Brennan Center: The Filibuster, Explained; by Tim Lau

Featured and Top Image by Bjoertvedt Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License
inset Image Courtesy of Penn State’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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