The U.S. presidential election of 2016 may still be well over a year away, but those who dream of sitting at the desk in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C. are busy scrambling for campaign supporters, financial contributions and potential voters in the party primaries that will influence who will run in the general election.
As the months pass by leading up to the election, Americans will be reminded that they are expected to participate in the democratic process, the experience of political self-government. Self-government in the political sense means that the members of society are supposed to decide through the electoral process those who will hold office in the government.
The people shall choose those who will enable and enforce the laws of the land. The role of political self-government is to assure that those who administer the state are made accountable to those they represent. Elections are meant to allow the people to judge the continuing fitness and integrity of the elected officials, and to help prevent abuses of power.
Political self-government also is meant to be a means of changing both the men and the policies that rule society without recourse to violent revolution or civil war. Democracy introduces civil peace into the political process by eliminating the necessity of taking up arms to remove those in high office. Death and destruction are no longer the price for political change.