Within the United States of America, there seems to be a consensus that this land was and is made for the free people of the earth. Most of us believe that the democracy we have in place is infallible, that nothing short of God could destroy it. And although some of us have complaints with what the government is doing, most of us believe that our voices are heard loud and clear, if only we would be caring enough to say anything. Yet I believe there are pros and cons to our "democracy", that although there is representation, powers that we cannot control keep it from being what some would call total democracy. And to its credit, it might not even be a bad thing to keep it the way it is. Within this essay, I am first going to go over the define democracy and label the type that the U.S. uses, then talk about how it is deemed democratic and undemocratic. Next I will in detail, go over how much our democracy has grown over the years, and lastly establish my two cents on our style of democracy. Yet through all the times, I believe we give freedom to those who still seek such a freedom, which in my opinion is the best thing about American democracy.
The basic definition of democracy is a "Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives". Yet there is so much more to this word than the Webster's dictionary can give. As Berman and Murphy try to explain it, all they can say is that "Democracy has evolved over time in America-and is still evolving,"(5). It is like a living organism, always changing as long as there are freethinking people in this country. Although many people all around the world view America as having the perfect democracy, ours really consists of a representative democracy. "As the size of the country grew, then, democracy became less pure and direct" (Berman, Murphy 13), so to counter that, the people needed to make politics more streamlined. So instead of us normal people voting on everything on boring traffic laws and on the exporting of agriculture, we select people to do the "dirty work" as seen with all of our elected officials; The president, the Senate, Congress, etc. With us being a representative democracy, we are not to the point of becoming a perfect democracy. And as Vaclav Havel puts it: "As long as people are people, democracy, in the full sense of the word, will be no more than an ideal. In this sense, you too are merely approaching democracy." (Berman, Murphy 8) Although due to human nature, we will never reach the fullness of the word "democracy", I believe the important thing is that we are constantly trying to be more and more like it.
There are many pros within the representative democracy The United States portrays. The lack of a direct rule within the government prevents the mob to rule. Most of the founders, such as John Adams, feared that democracy "soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself." (Berman, Murphy 13). I agree that it is dangerous to hand over too much power to the everyday Joe within our country. This democracy also does not choose the president with the popular vote, but the people elect people into the electoral college, who then in turn votes for who should be president. This method, although it seems like it prevents the people from choosing the president with the most votes, protects the rights of the smaller states whose votes do matter in these types of elections. Our type of government also brings an order and stability within our borders. Although some people may argue this, if one takes a look outside, we aren't throwing Molotov cocktails at each other, that there is a general peace within this country. The reason may be that the politicians are passing laws that protect us from different dangers of life. If the people had its way, I am sure more and more things would become legal to use within the states. It would become a more dangerous state, but our government regulates these types of issues, so...
Bibliography: Berman, Larry, Bruce Murphy. Approaching Democracy. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. Pearson Education, 2005
Mansbridge, Jane. "The Amendment Process". 1986
Marshall, Thurgood. "Reflections on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution". 101 Harv.L 1987
Dahl, Robert. "Who Governs?".
Schattscheider, E.E. "The Semisovereign People"
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