How Democratic Is America?

Topics: Democracy, Representative democracy, Election Pages: 4 (1360 words) Published: September 17, 2013
How Democratic is America?

Democracy. Republic. Liberal. Conservative. These words are constantly flung around in political discourse and political debate. They are used so flippantly, it is easy to forget the true definition of each. The true definition is essential when you attempt to describe our nation. Our nation is indeed a republic. It is not a democracy. When we vote candidates into office, the legislative elections are won by popular vote or simple majority; this is an example of democratic ideals. Many people would also group the presidential election as a democratic election, but the president is technically elected by the Electoral College, not directly by popular vote. Although, there are aspects that are democratic in our political process, at the end of the day, we are at the core, a republic.

A democracy is a government ruled by the majority. In a true democracy, every issue of government is voted on and a decision is made by the 51% or greater majority. First of all, this would be a very impractical form of government in the United States. Until the past presidential election, citizens did not have a strong turnout at the ballot box. In state politics, especially elections for county positions, 50% of the constituents do not even make an appearance at the poles. Secondly, in a pure democracy the minority has no voice in the government and they are at the mercy of the majority opinion. No rights, no court of appeal, and no listening ear are guaranteed to a citizen who is part of the minority. The one and only way the minority could have a voice in a democracy is if they are able to persuade enough citizens to their opinion in order to become the majority. A pure democracy is basically giving power to mob rule, while neglecting the individual rights of the citizen. The United States government guarantees each and every citizen their individual rights through the Bill of Rights. Given this aspect, one can conclude once again that the...
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