The Possibility Of Having National Referendums In The United States

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The Possibility Of Having National Referendums In The United States

Did you know that according to Gallup Poll, 68 percent of Americans are in favor of having national referendums on key issues? Yet the United States currently only has local and state referendums. This essay details some statistics that show how Americans feel about some of the recent foreign policy decisions made by the federal government. It then goes on to explain what national referendums are, why they might be an effective solution to this problem, and how you can help support this initiative.

Elected officials can easily get so caught up in their own personal interests to the point where they end up making decisions that may benefit themselves, but not necessarily be in the best interests of the American people. Remember that elected officials serve us and not the other way around. Although we are the ones who elect these lawmakers, too often the policy decisions they make are not supported by a majority of Americans.

If we look at some of the recent national and foreign policy decisions that the federal government has either made or is considering, they are quite unpopular among Americans. Overall, Americans are in favor of most of the multilateral deals that the executive branch deems unfair to the United States. Under the current administration, the United States has become more isolationist on the world stage. This runs counter to the widespread belief that globalization is beneficial to the United States. According to Business Insider, 65 percent of Americans believe globalization is good for the United States. The executive branch has already withdrawn our country from the Iran Nuclear Deal and the Paris Climate Agreement. According to Morning Consult, 57 percent of Americans support remaining in the Iran Nuclear Deal and according to The Atlantic, 70 percent of Americans support remaining in the Paris Climate Agreement. They have made us become more protectionist on trade by withdrawing from multilateral trade deals and imposing tariffs on many of our closest allies. According to Business Insider, 70 percent of Americans believe international trade is good for US consumers. They have ended DACA and remain intent on building a wall on our southern border. According to CBS News, 87 percent of Americans support DACA and oppose building a border wall. They continue to disparage and question the relevance of the NATO Alliance. According to Gallup Poll, 80 percent of Americans support remaining in the NATO Alliance.

National referendums are nationwide votes on key national and foreign policy issues. This means that all registered voters in the country would be allowed to vote on them. The Brexit vote that took place in Britain and  more recently the vote legalizing abortion in Ireland are both examples of national referendums. In our country, the federal government, and in particular the executive branch, make most of the decisions on national and foreign policies.

Having national referendums would allow citizens to have more of a direct say when it comes to key policy issues. Of course, there would be conditions for when they would be appropriate, but if used properly, national referendums have the potential to be a very effective tool for having our voices heard and participating more actively in national and international politics.

The goal of this essay is to educate the public, start a healthy dialogue, and ultimately create a national referendum advocacy group that will take part in activities that include, but are not limited to: contacting elected representatives, generating petitions, giving community presentations, writing editorials to newspapers, holding meetings, and participating in protest rallies. If you are interested, please feel free to contact me through the email below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. There’s strength in numbers so I hope that you’ll join me. I appreciate your interest in learning more about this possibility and getting involved! I look forward to hearing your questions, concerns, and suggestions.