It’s all in the name. It’s called the United States of America, not the united people, or the people’s republic. America is a literal union of states. It’s a democracy as much as the European Union is. It’s not. Just put down the propaganda pipe for a minute and look.
Every major decision in America is decided by states, not people. The President is chosen by states (through the Electoral College). Legislation is approved by states (through the Senate). The Supreme Court is confirmed by the states (again the Senate).
These aren’t quirks in an otherwise democratic system. This is the system. Yes, America has one vaguely democratic institution in the House, but this is overruled by the undemocratic Senate, Electoral College, and Supreme Court. This is all by design and—as much as black people tried to give America democracy in the 1960s—the country is regressing to the mean.
Thus, as Professor Jason Stanley says, “We’re nowhere near a democracy. Because what democracy would have one party win the popular vote in seven out of eight presidential elections and lose most of those elections?”
By the same token, in what democracy would 39 million people (California) have the same representation as 0.58 million (Wyoming)? The Senate makes a mockery of one-person, one-vote, which is just table stakes for democracy. The United States is not even at the table.
Then the undemocratic President and Senate appoint the undemocratic Supreme Court and you have a country which is completely undemocratic, except for the toothless House of Representative (what would be the onlyinstitution in a Parliamentary democracy). At some point you have to stop excusing all the exceptions in American and understand that this is the rule.The country is fundamentally undemocratic by design.
It’s all just a bunch of elites who are supposed representing states and who are actually paid by corporations. Of course the people’s will isn’t done. It’s not that American democracy is broken and not working correctly. America was founded by a bunch of rich white men who didn’t want to pay taxes, didn’t want ordinary people to vote, and certainly didn’t want minorities doing anything. And so it remains. The thing works perfectly well. It’s just not a democracy.
What has happened is that Americans (and the world) have bought the marketing and not looked at the actual product. It’s called the United Statesof America and that’s what it is. The Declaration of Independence and Constitution were just excellent ad campaigns. In truth the people of America are thwarted at every turn (when they’re not genocided, enslaved, called ‘illegal’, or thrown in cages). They can’t elect leaders by popular vote, they don’t even have a right to vote, and their twisted ‘balance of powers’ mean that the people always have none.
While there’s such a thing as indirect democracy, America is indirect to the point of never getting there at all. For complete honesty in marketing, America should just rename its institutions for corporations, the only beings that are able to navigate this mess at all. It should be the Raytheon States Of America, the Bank of America Senate, the FedEx Federal Reserve. Then I could really tap on the sign. Then everyone could say the Pledge of Allegiant® unironically,
I pledge Allegiant® to my map, and to the oligarchy for which it stands: a bunch of states, quite divided, with delusion and injustice for all.