The Disappearing Democracy of the United States
For Americans, the word “democracy” itself is strong enough to conjure up notions of a nation unhindered by an oppressive government where citizens are able to engage in the freedom of speech, press, and religious choice and practice. So powerful are American pro-Democratic sentiments that it is a common thought that any other country that does not prescribe to a liberal democracy is somehow inferior. Yet as time marches on, the feelings of superiority by American citizens become more and more unfounded. For, right before our eyes, the very notion of democracy, that Americans become braggarts about, is disappearing. While the U.S. government boasts of the freedoms it affords its citizens, it corrupts such an image through repeated non-democratic actions. While citizens cherish the affordances of a liberal democracy, many do not make the effort to support such a system; taking it for granted that no matter what, a democracy is a self perpetuating entity. In this paper I will argue that the liberal democracy that supposedly defines American government is a declining entity due to overt acts against the principles of democracy by the United States government and also due to the decline of civic engagement by United States citizens. The fact is, no system of government can be perpetuated if the government and its citizens do not work to keep their ideals alive and in practice.
Since the inception of a democratic government in the United States’ early history, many have held that a liberal democracy should be the standard to which all other governments should attempt to emulate (CNN.com, 1). As the world’s leading super power, the United States sets an example for the rest of the world; supposedly with a liberal democracy allowing freedom of political, religious, and personal choices, and also, freedom from being subjected to an oppressive government. I argue that the idea of democracy that the founding fathers of the United States attempted to live up to and perpetuate is slowly being corrupted
To be a good leader though, one must set a good example; something the United States is gradually failing to do. At home and internationally the United States government has acted in ways contrary to the ideals set forth in its own constitutional documentation. In a proper democracy the government is responsible for protecting human rights for all citizens, making impartial rulings, and guaranteeing its citizens the right to select law makers freely where the people voting are informed about the issues. There have been a multitude of instances where the United States government has failed to live up to such standards on a national and international front.
Firstly, the protection of human rights is a concept that the forefathers of this country felt to be an important aspect of a proper democracy. In the constitution it is written that all humans hold...