America combines representative and direct democracy. An article by Sumantra Maitra published at National Interest argues for the latter. Here is an excerpt:
“Taking LGBT patient testimony seriously also means that parents should lose veto power over most transition-related pediatric care,” according to a research article published by the National Library of Medicine. The paper is written by a philosopher and bio-ethicist from Arizona State University, in a journal of medical ethics. Put in simple terms, and cutting down the academic jargon, the paper asserts that it is the state that should be responsible for children and not the parents.
It is easy to see how provocative the subject is. Consider the practical implications of this on parental rights. Parents are not able to decide what is being taught in schools. One can observe repeated incidents of parents in the United States rising up to take over school boards or voting for those politicians who are willing to legislate against ideology in the education sector. This constitutes a grassroots rebellion against what many on the right have called state-sanctioned propaganda. There are incidents when parents have been jailed for opposing the transition of their children. Now, we have a medical ethics journal advocating that parents should not have any right over their children if they decide to permanently change their gender. A broader battle over this is looming in Europe as well. For example, Hungary recently legislated that any depiction of LGBT or transgender relationships in shows targeted towards children will be considered propaganda. The EU responded by threatening Hungary, which has now resulted in Hungary declaring a referendum to seek public approval for more such legislation.
But apart from the political issues, a much larger question that needs to be debated is the quality of research on which public policy is being formulated and the effect that it has on democracy. To put it simply, if the research has an ideological bent, then can it be considered valid enough for policy? Also, what happens when ideological research meets democratic resistance? Who are the people in charge? Is that authority wielded by the ideological elites or the masses?
Read the full article here.