Why The Filibuster Is Dumb...
Updated: Mar 31
Written by: Zachary Lewis
“If the opposite of pro- is con-, what’s the opposite of progress?”
One of the hot-button topics that is getting passed around since Biden took office is the filibuster. Democrats give a stance about how the filibuster is inherently racist despite using it plentifully during a Republican administration, and Republicans defend it fiercely, despite their condemnation of it during the previous administration when they had the majority. Clearly, the arguments serve the immediate benefits of the party, while not addressing what the filibuster actually achieves.
Simply stated, a filibuster is a privilege given to members of the United States Senate (not the House!) that exploits a rule that allows senators to give speeches as long as they require before a vote on any given bill. Before a bill is voted on, senators are allowed to give their arguments on why they believe a bill should or should not be passed. However, since there is no time limit to a speech, shenanigans like reading a dictionary or singing show tunes have been employed to keep bills from passing. Since the remaining senators have to wait until the filibuster is finished in order to vote on the bill, this tactic is used only to make senators bored enough to leave, thus denying them a vote.
Filibusters are therefore a deliberate obstruction to progress and a waste of everyone’s time. Nonetheless, they are often championed as an equalizer to assist the minority party from oppression by the majority. If, however, the filibuster is something to exemplify the struggles of the few that cannot suffer the accommodations passed through Congress, then why is it reserved exclusively for the Senate? By that logic, the House should have the ability to filibuster, and quite possibly the voice of every American citizen. However, this is not utilized because everybody in politics knows that if you give this power to certain people, nothing would get done. With the ever-expanding influence of technology in our daily lives, the loss of jobs overseas, and a plethora of other exceedingly important issues that need swift decision-making, America cannot waste its time with filibusters.
The only motive for keeping the filibuster is based around short-term gain for the party that is currently in the minority. The filibuster allows the Senate to drag the entire nation down into its personal vendettas. This argument goes all the way back to the Founding Fathers- James Madison and Alexander Hamilton agreed that filibusters would achieve nothing except allowing the minority party to ransom people’s time and interest. This should not be seen as a political issue, but rather, a constitutional one. And the defense of a loophole in policy is not one that should stand.
About the Author:
"Zachary Lewis is a hope-er, a dream-er, a magic bean-buyer, and a level 4 Monk. He is usually found crafting NPCs for Dungeons and Dragons, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org"