If you’ve seen the countless commercials, endless news broadcasts, or been handed a flyer about voting in the diag, you should know that today, November 4th, is the day for midterm elections in America. As millions of people took to the poles today to vote for their senators and Governors, they chose people who best represented their personal views, and those who they believe will benefit and promote their interests. Once the majority elects these people, they will work to serve their constituents with the principles on which they were elected. The midterm elections are perfect examples, in my opinion, of the social contracts of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke that we have learned about over the past week.
In America, we elect leaders to defend us against those who try to do us harm, protect us from invasion, and secure our personal liberties. As Hobbes put it, “if there be no power erected, or not great enough for our security; every man will, and may lawfully rely on his own strength and art, for caution against all other men.” Essentially, if we did not have a leader, none of us would be protected and we would live in something similar to a “survival of the fittest” society. So out we go on midterm election day to “confer all [our] power and strength upon one man, or upon one assembly of men” in our case senators and the governor “and therein to submit [our] wills, every one to his will, and [our] judgments, to his judgment.”
The governor and senators that come to office will reflect the majority of the state in which they were elected. In Locke’s social contract, he states that “consenting with others to make one body politic under one government, puts [one] under an obligation, to every one of that society, to submit to the determination of the majority.” Essentially, when we elect these politicians, the majority will decide who is elected, thus directing and reflecting the will of the people. In the case of Michigan, the Governor elected will reflect the political affiliation of the majority of the state, so the one elected will most likely be a democrat, Mark Schauer, or a republican, Rick Snyder. Mark Schauer will work to promote democratic ideals such as marriage equality, greater access to education, and equal pay, and Rick Snyder will push for republican ideals such as budget cuts and lower taxes for businesses and the upper class. Whoever gains the majority will be able to direct the will and decisions made, and the minority will have to accept it or else its “impossible it should act or continue one body, one community, which the consent of every individual that united into it, agreed that it should.”
So whether or not we are happy with the results of the midterm elections and the governor that is elected for our state, or the majority that ends up taking the senate, we will have to accept these results because we decided to put our faith and will in the hands of these people and it is only fair that they are elected by the majority, so as to better serve their state. The midterm elections are a reflection of these social contracts.