Democracy has long been lauded in the United States of America – Home of the Free etc etc. The reality of the situation, however, has been revealed over the last 5 years during the Trump ascendancy. The American political framework is full of holes, which have been effectively exploited by the Russians and local vested interests. The idea of democracy endures as something wonderful but in practice falls way short. The real state of democracy in America is only partially subscribed to by the country’s population.
The American Version of Democracy Is Unrepresentative
The onus for free and fair representative elections must be on all Americans. Living in the United States of America needs to come with responsibilities, such as compulsory voting. Educating citizens on the importance of voting in the electoral system should be prominent throughout the US. Making money seems to be the primal driving force in America and nothing much else comes close to this.
Not Much More Than Half of America is Voting
If you have half the country ignoring the political framework, then conditions are ripe for things like coups. If American citizens are so focused on their own little worlds to the exclusion of the bigger picture this is a problem for democracy. The state has a responsibility to increase the political engagement with its denizens. If the understanding of democracy is so superficial within a nation, then it is easily manipulated by vested interests. The political class in America could be accused of maintaining this unrepresentative level of voter engagement for its own ends.
The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.”
- (US Constitution)
The Constitution calls voting a civic right rather than a civic duty – and this is what is wrong about America in large part.
Americans are often banging on about their rights but bring up their responsibilities within the nation to a lesser extent.
Voter Apathy Produces Corruption
Voter/citizen apathy produces misuse of power and corruption in most cases. Those in charge, often, feel justified in looking after their own interests and those of their backers first and foremost. Donald Trump seized upon this political disengagement and promised to be the champion of predominantly white lower middle class Americans. The failed billionaire backed by Russian money stepped up as a false prophet to ‘Make America Great Again’ on behalf of the Republican Party (GOP). They say 60 million Americans voted for him in 2016 and again in 2020.
“Voter turnout in the 2020 U.S. general election soared to levels not seen in decades, fueled by the bitter campaign between Joe Biden and Donald Trump and facilitated by pandemic-related changes to state election rules. More than 158.4 million people voted in that election, according to a Pew Research Center tabulation of official state returns, amounting to 62.8% of people of voting age, using Census Bureau estimates of the 2020 voting-age population.”
Just over 62% of the voting population turned out to vote, which leaves some 90 million people disengaged from democracy in America. This at a time when politically partisan feelings are running particularly high and prompted record voter turnouts.
Ancient Rome was another republic which had vast number of its denizens disenfranchised from the political setup running the state. Too many passengers on the bus make for destinations wreaking of inequality and inequity. Ultimately, this state of affairs brings civilisations to their knees. Great Empires and nations are ruined via the greed of the few over the needs of the many. America and its billionaires stink to high heaven; and this superpower is on the brink of toppling into chaos and civil war once again.
Old White Men in Power
Old men stumbling over their words sit atop the highest office in America. Joe Biden has done a great job in wresting the nation from the fascist grip of the Trump cohort. However, the US requires some fresh blood to reinvigorate its pulse in the leadership position. Why are all these old white men contending for the top job? Where are the leaders of the next generation? Is America in the grip of a grandfather obsession? Can the US ever be grown up enough to elect a woman president of the nation?
A public campaign needs to be launched across the airwaves to promote voter education. More demands must be made upon citizens in terms of their civic duties. Online classes must be made free and a basic standard of understanding required by all citizens. Education is the one thing that can combat and overcome misinformation and manipulation of the political system. You have to bring the country with you to be a truly great democracy. All of the people need to be engaged to make it representative. Real democracy has never been achieved up until this point in time and there is a lot of work to be done.
Robert Sudha Hamilton