General Question

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

How much of a democracy are we really? [U.S.]?

Asked by flyawayxxballoon (1352points) September 1st, 2008

Democracy- 1 a: government by the people; especially : rule of the majority b: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections

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Do the people really, truly have the power?

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10 Answers

MrMeltedCrayon's avatar

The U.S. isn’t a democracy; it’s a democratic republic.

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

@MrMeltedCrayon; According to government books and teachers, or at least mine, we are a considered a form of democracy, more specifically a representative democracy.

MrMeltedCrayon's avatar

Sorry, I guess was being a smart ass and over analyzing the technicalities while simultaneously not answering your question. The United States is a constitutional and democratic republic. We do exercise a representative democracy, but the key word is representative. People have the power to choose their representatives, and we have the ability to try and influence these representatives. The power is in the vote.

augustlan's avatar

The power is really in the electoral college.

MrMeltedCrayon's avatar

@augustian: True enough. I think my optimism toward the subject of voting forms a mental block that allows me to forget the electoral college, be that good or bad.

augustlan's avatar

@Mr: Me too. We tend to forget about them until they screw us over!

marinelife's avatar

Yes, it is. It has a lot of problems, but I prefer it to any other form that I have seen.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

I think to see how much of a democracy we are, refer to Alexis Tocqueville’s take on tyranny of the majority. He wrote about it in the early 1800’s. He wasn’t so concerned of a majority party being tyrannical, he was more concerned of the tyranny of the majority based on a minority of special interests.
The founding fathers were also fearful of tyranny of majority, which is why they setup a Constitutional representative republic, with 3 parties, who check and balance each other to make sure that all laws follow the constitution. Unfortunatally, we stopped following the constitution and now have 2 parties, where for 4–8 years, one party screws many things up, leaving people begging for the other party to “fix the problems” which usually leads to more problems. The only winners are the special interests and corporations.

I am a Ron Paul supporter because I feel we need to identify the problem before we offer solutions and in my opinion all the problems we are facing, stem from one problem and one problem only… We stopped following the constitution.

LostInParadise's avatar

The role of money and its concentration in a small part of the population interferes with the U.S. being a perfect democracy, or democratic republic.

Rsam's avatar

a “perfect democracy” is lunacy, especially in such a large population as ours.

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