Are We Democratic

1461 words - 6 pages

Intro Sample...

Is the U.S Democratic in all aspects?
Wilmington University
Human World Views 1650-Present

In any system which claims to be democratic, a question of its legitimacy remains. A truly democratic political system has certain characteristics which prove its legitimacy with their existence. One essential characteristic of a legitimate democracy is that it allows people to freely make choices without government interference. Another essential characteristic which legitimates government is that every vote must count equally: one vote for every person. For this equality to occur, all people must be subject to the same laws, have equal civil rights, and be allowed to freely express their ideas. Minority... View More »

Body Sample...

Though this apathy is the result of greater freedom in America than in other countries, it ultimately decreases citizens' incentive to express their opinions about issues, therefore making democracy less legitimate.

Private interests distort public policy making because, when making decisions, politicians must take account of campaign contributors. An "interest" may be defined as "any involvement in anything that affects the economic, social, or emotional well-being of a person." When interests become organized into groups, then politicians may become biased due to their influences. "Special interests buy favors from congressmen and presidents through political action committees (PACs), devices by which groups like corporations, professional associations, trade unions, investment banking groups can pool their money and give up to $10,000 per election to each House and Senate candidate"(Lind, 157). Thus, those people who do not become organized into interest groups are likely to be underrepresented financially. This leads to further inequality and, therefore, greater illegitimacy in the democratic system.

The method in which we elect the President is fairly legitimate. The Electoral College consists of representatives who we elect, who then elect the President. Because this fills the requirement of regularly scheduled elections, it is a legitimate process. The President is extremely powerful in foreign policy making; so powerful that scholars now speak of the "Imperial Presidency," implying that the President runs foreign policy as an emperor. The President is the ...

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