Do United States Has Real or Quasi Democracy: Argumentative Essay

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The most common belief amongst people all over the Globe is that the United States is the World's biggest democracy. However, whenever these beliefs change slightly, it always points out detrimental exceptions to foundational principles or core principles. For example, many critics argue that the loss of democracy in American history is a result of the election of unsuitable autocrats, harsh measures by the state itself, dangerous foreign interventions, the revelation of much corruption or malfeasance, and other practices which are considered undemocratic (MITCHELL, 2016). The land of the free and the home of the brave. Liberty and justice for all. These are ideals that the United States boasts in its National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance. Citizens proudly proclaim these words and believe that they live in the best country in the world. As one takes a deeper look into how the governmental system works, it is questionable that the United States operates by the values to which they hold high standards. The United States is not a democracy due to the very main principles on which it was built by its founding fathers, and the Electoral College causes the government to not truly represent its entire people.

Contrary to the perception that the US is a democracy, the government of the US was never meant to be a democracy, and this is the difficult reality that most people would have to contend with, and this is something that most people might not agree with and are likely to dismiss as malicious propaganda rather than taking time to scrutinize the historical materials records to see and judge for themselves. Most of the institutions of America which were meant to uphold democracy were designed to cut down the effects of too much democracy. These institutions are anti-democratic by design. Rather than upholding democratic practices, these institutions were made to safeguard the individual interests of certain people in America (Pop-Eleches & Tucker, 2017). The Framers of these institutions knew that if they were left to practice pure democracy, then it would be very dangerous.

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We look at some of the reasons why the United States is not or has never been a democracy. To begin with, the founding fathers of the US went to great extents to ensure that the United States was never a democracy. It is worth noting that even the word democracy does not appear anywhere in the US Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, or any of the US founding documents (Voeten, 2016). In addition to this, there are also various quotations expressed by the US Founders which are seen to be undemocratic. The Founding era writings are a replica of many warnings of this magnitude:

Alexander Hamilton says that Real Liberty cannot be found in pure democracies, but only in moderate governments. He also writes that if the government inclines too much on democracy, then it will end up in a monarchy, or in some kind of a dictatorship (Kallen, 2017). James Madison, in the Federal paper No. 10 wanted to block the majority side by saying that the measures were poorly decided not putting in mind the rights of the minority party and the rules of justice, but by the superior force of the overbearing and interested majority. In a letter to Congress, John Adams warned that democracy never lasts for long. That democracy will soon waste, exhaust and then murder itself. John Adams also cautioned that there was never any form of democracy that never committed suicide. Edmund Randolph said that in trying to trace any evil to its origin, every man had found that it originated from the follies of democracy (Kallen, 2017). The then Chief Justice John Marshall said that between a democracy and a balanced republic, the difference was like that between chaos and order.

The Founding fathers expressed much dissatisfaction with the concept of majority rule and placed many impediments to the majority rule throughout the US Constitution. The two houses are a stumbling block to the tyranny of majority rule. This is because fifty-one senators aligned on one side can vote to block the wishes of other forty-nine senators and four hundred and thirty-five representatives. The US constitution also gives the President Powers to veto the wishes of the five hundred and thirty-five members of Congress, and by the majority, this is un-democratic (Achen, & Bartels, 2017). Congress needs two-thirds of both the two houses to overturn a presidential veto.

Despite many of the US activists wanting us to believe in and emulate the US democratic institutions, we are still to see this. The US anti-democratic institutions are still the same way they were two hundred years ago. For example, the case of the Electoral College is there to ensure that those people who are elected as President not only have the support of the majority population but have the broad support of the entire country. The core function of the Electoral College system is to represent and respect all States as independent entities within the US Federal System.

The Electoral College is a governmental body in the United States that determines the final results of the voting process in a presidential election. Both parties in every state have their electors based on population size. Larger states like California, Texas, and New York have more electors than states like Rhode Island, Wyoming, and North Dakota. If the people of a state vote for a particular party, that party will win all of the electoral votes from that state. A candidate needs a total of 270 electoral votes to win the election. The institution of the Electoral College system disregards the popular vote, so the voice of the whole country is not heard. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in 2016 but did not win the electoral vote. It does not represent the people of the United States because, in the 2016 election, statistically, more Americans voted for Clinton than Trump, yet she still did not win the presidency.

Also, it is the same case for the Senate. Each of the US states is equally represented in the Senate, regardless of its population, prestige, or size. Checking up on the US democratic extremes, we see that the US Senate was even more effective before the enactment of the 17th Amendment, done in 1913 which started to subject senators to election by directing voting by voters and not by the individual State legislatures (Achen, & Bartels, 2017).

Finally, the US Supreme court is the most anti-democratic institution in US history (Kallen, 2017). The court officials are appointed by Presidents who are elected through the Electoral College system, which is not subjected to democratic elections or oversight. Courts are supposed to decide controversies and cases according to what the Law states, but not subject to the personal preferences or prejudices and passions of the electorate.

Therefore many of these examples, show that the United States was never fully a democracy. It had never followed up with the correct aspects of being a democracy. From the founding fathers to the Electoral College, things never added up. The high standards that the government appears to hold are lower than we expected. These facts and examples bring up questions as to what standards and rules we follow and how our government process works.

References

  1. Achen, C. H., & Bartels, L. M. (2017). Democracy for realists: Why elections do not produce responsive government (Vol. 4). Princeton University Press. Democratic political system. Democratization, 22(1), 92-112.
  2. Achen, C. H., & Bartels, L. M. (2017). Democracy for realists: Why elections do not produce responsive government (Vol. 4). Princeton University Press.
  3. Kallen, H. M. (2017). Democracy versus the M elting-Pot. In Culture and democracy in the United States (pp. 129-187). Routledge.
  4. MITCHELL, L. (2016). The Democracy Promotion Paradox. Brookings Institution Press. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7864/j.ctt15jjbz8
  5. Pop-Eleches, G., & Tucker, J. (2017). Communism's Shadow: Historical Legacies and Contemporary Political Attitudes. Princeton; Oxford: Princeton University Press. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1q1xrdk
  6. Voeten, E. (2016). Are people turning away from democracy?
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