Why does the United States' democracy not work?

I'm writing an oratory over the under utilization of the United States' democracy. And I need all the help I can get.

Update:

Actually Will. I mean both. Especially the first one though.

11 Answers

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  • Will
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Thanks for the clarification...

    There are several reasons...

    1. Registration is difficult. Residency requirements vary, and while some states have adopted the Motor/Voter method of registration, it is still not uniform, moreover, not everyone owns a car to be registered.

    2. Elections are held on weekdays. This is the worst time to hold elections. Most democracies hold elections on Sundays to increase turnout.

    3. Voter malaise. People simply do not believe that their vote matters. In addition, there is a growing suspicion that it doesn't matter who the candidates are becuase the system itself is controlled by wealthy elites who will not look after the interests of the people (regardless of which party wins). This is what I call the "Pete Townshend Effect" -- (taken from the lyric to "We Won't Get Fooled Again" ["Meet the New Boss, same as the Old Boss"]). Augmenting this dissatisfaction is the media which continuously show the influence of powerful special interests controlling American politics. A steady diet of the rich and powerful manipulating the system reinforces the growing belief of the futility of caring about (and thus participating in) the system. THIS IS A HUGE POTENTIAL DANGER FOR DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA.

    4. Frequency of elections. Americans have more elections than almost any other nation on earth (Federal, State, Local, Special). It contributes to voter fatigue.

    5. Systemic Overload. Increasingly, people are overloaded by the idea of governmental complexity. The idea of trying to understand government is like scaling Mt. Everest, and many are simply giving up the attempt even to try.

    6. Basic Nature. The Americans are one of the least political people on the planet. Other nations have very politicized populations. But in the USA, people have always tended more toward personal, social and familial remedies. Thus, people tend not to think of the government first. There actually is a much more deeply ingrained sense of self-reliance among Americans than among other industrialized nations (though this is changing with time, it is still true).

    7. Basic Structure. America was not conceioved as a democracy, but a republic. People technically don't vote for presidents (the electoral College does), and people never vote for Federal Judges. That's two thirds of the Federal government. This fact tends to dampen enthusiam for voting.

    8. Basic stupidity. I'm not trying to be insulting; there is much evidence to support the contention that the typical American doesn't conceptualize candidates and issues very well. The parties know this, which is why they spend so much time trying to "market" candidates like toothpaste. They ignore real discussions of substance in favor of soundbites and photo-ops. The American people have simply developed a good "sales resistence."

    Hope these ideas help.

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  • duty
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    the U. S.. Democratic status. became into the source of the debate at Valley Forge. The founding fathers have been democratic. the folk who needed a republic purely approximately starved the entire American military out to tutor their element. Then it became into set up as a democracy for the folk and Thomas Jefferson ended up speaking plenty approximately it. Then those losers spoke of as the puratins got here in, representing the republic (vast agencies). They fought for purely approximately one hundred years to opposite the form and each and all the equivalent rights stuff. Now you notice it, they nevertheless attempt to make it a nazi or king james state. yet maximum of what they have accomplished is public. simply by fact of their joker mentality, now many extensive economic marketplace based entities have greater potential then people and truthfully contradict what united states of america of america stands for. united states of america of america is meant to be a democracy, yet simply by corrupt idiots who took unrestrained strikes. some issues like the federal government. even however they seem to be a company. As a ruling physique. it particularly is purely a mish mash of excellent people and grimy people who help corporation over people.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The democratic process has been hi-jacked by the corporates and the rich. They fund political campaigns and of course expect a return on their money. Once politicians gain office they spend most of their term sorting out where the money is going to come from for the next election. Promises are made and the democratic process is sidelined.

    I've long thought that American politicians legislate for the rich and the devil take the hindmost. An example is the difficulty of getting a health program through that would deliver quality health care for all.

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  • mick t
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Media control by the wealthy, who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, results in alternative views being suppressed. Democratic processes only work in an environment where all voters have access to accurate information.

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  • 1 decade ago

    For many reasons,

    - You cannot have a democracy within a constitution consisting of only two parties.

    - You cannot have a democracy when everyone in it is there for personal gain.

    - You cannot have a democracy inside the limits of a dead economy.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    how can a country where 40% of the wealth is owned by 1% of the population have a working democracy?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Not too much anymore. People are too afraid and mistrusting of the goverment to challenge the status quo. I blame fear mongering and conservative propoganda. Small Goverment has created a conception that the Goverment is this evil intentity working against the good of the U.S.

    Our system of goverment is fine. Its just we have alot of Conservatives who are trying to make people paranoid of goverment, to keep things from going forward. Because of that paranoia, alot of people don't vote or are afraid to challenge the powers that be.

    Source(s): Reading about Democracy in other countries. SPecifically Europe...
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  • 1 decade ago

    first off the U.S. is not a democracy but constitutional republic, the problem with it is those that are trying incremental change to a social democracy social democracy as the germans selected after losing world war one and of course you know what happened then, the suppression of civil rights you are witnessing as we speak, so as to say could be a prelude to a dictatorship as hugo chavez has done in venezuela and as president zelaya was attempting in honduras before the people awakened and threw him out we in the u.s. are governed by laws as laid out by our constitution with specific ways to change it which is being usurped by the present government

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  • Apollo
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The American Constitution was wrote for a 'Republican' government, to use the peoples sovereignty's for the good of all, it was the wealthy bankers who destroyed it, and brought a great nation to it's knees.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well, you can start by explaining that we are a representative republic and not a democracy, lol.

    - Libertarian

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