#Democracy is a wonderful thing. Many Americans think they live in one. They’re wrong. But a lot of people make that mistake. Even Winston Churchill made that mistake in his House of Commons speech on November 11, 1947. That’s the day he made the famous speech mainly about the U.S. saying, “democracy being the worst form of Government except for all the others.”
The U.S. is not a democracy and never was
The big mistake so many people make is thinking of the United States as a democracy. It isn’t. I'm not a conspiracy nut suggesting that the country has been taken over. The U.S. was never supposed to be a democracy. Don’t believe me? I’m not making a radical declaration; merely making a factual statement. Think of The Pledge of Allegiance. How does it go “and to the #Republic for which it stands"? The U.S. isn't a democracy, it is a republic. And there is a serious argument that the problems we face with the out of control government of the past dozen years or so are because it is too democratic by far.
Republic vs. democracy: What’s the difference?
In a democracy the voters make all the decisions. That hasn’t been possible since Athens when all the voters were the most educated leaders of the society. In a republic, the voters don’t make decisions except in rare plebiscite, often known as a "proposition" placed on the ballot for a direct vote. The idea behind the United States Republic is to have voters select highly educated experts and statesmen to make the important decisions. As the world became ever more complex it became much more important to have experts run the government.
But at the same time, we get few experts and many more greedy, self-centered political hacks who do what they are paid to do by billionaires and multinational companies. That's why nothing important gets done and political arguments are little more than organized nonsense.
Blame the internet
The reason the government doesn’t work today is because the Internet made it possible for the people who only understand their own lives to be tricked into voting not for experts and statesmen but for ideologues and demagogues who tell voters what they want to hear. Far too many voters follow the shiny object while others will vote for any change which might be better than the current stalemate. That is now enough people to put anyone in office if they attract enough attention, the way an automobile accident attracts attention.
We are nearing the point of having a pure democracy. That sounds great but it is terrible. Science, economics, medicine, finance, international trade, and diplomacy are incredibly complex but no voter can understand more than a piece of even one of those so they are supposed to elect people who tell them everything is much more simple than it appears.
Mass media, rallies, and more recently the ability for one person to sway millions with Twitter comments pose an existential threat to the future of the U.S. because we have people exhibiting willful ignorance of complex subjects making decisions which control the world. That's democracy. It is also the recipe for total collapse of a country and international disaster.
What de Tocqueville knew
In 1831 Alexis #De Tocqueville, a french sociologist found the U.S. republic a great society but warned that it would collapse when voters realized they could vote themselves benefits without paying for them.
Sound like anything you can see happening every day?