Questioning the legitimacy of the united states democracy

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Questioning the legitimacy of the united states democracy

The legitimacy of government

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 intervention.

Another necessary characteristic which legitimates government is that every vote must count equally: 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 rights are also crucial in a legitimate democracy.

No matter how unpopular their views, all people should enjoy the freedoms of speech, press and assembly. Public policy should be made publicly, not secretly, and regularly scheduled elections should be held. Since "legitimacy" may be defined as "the feeling or opinion the people have that government is based upon morally defensible principles and that they should therefore obey it," then there must necessarily be a connection between what the people want and what the government is doing if legitimacy is to occur.

Questioning the legitimacy of the united states democracy

Because voting is class-biased, it may not be classified as a completely legitimate process. Although in theory the American system calls for one vote per person, the low rate of turnout results in the upper and middle classes ultimately choosing candidates for the entire nation.

Class is determined by income and education, and differing levels of Questioning the legitimacy of the united states democracy two factors can help explain why class bias occurs.

For example, because educated people tend to understand politics more, they are more likely to vote. People with high income and education also have more resources, and poor people tend to have low political efficacy feelings of low self-worth.

Turnout, therefore, is low and, since the early s, has been declining overall. The "winner-take-all" system in elections may be criticized for being undemocratic because the proportion of people agreeing with a particular candidate on a certain issue may not be adequately represented under this system.

For example, "a candidate who gets 40 percent of the vote, as long as he gets more votes than any other candidate, can be elected-even though sixty percent of the voters voted against him" Lind, Political parties in America are weak due to the anti-party, anti-organization, and anti-politics cultural prejudices of the Classical Liberals.

Because in the U. This informality allows people to be apathetic if they wish, willingly giving up their input into the political process.

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.

Consequently, 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.

Questioning the legitimacy of the united states democracy

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 chief diplomat, negotiator of treaties, and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. This abundance of foreign Presidential power may cause one to believe that our democratic system is not legitimate. However, Presidential power in domestic affairs is limited.

Therefore, though the President is very powerful in certain areas, the term "Imperial Presidency" is not applicable in all areas. The election process of Congress is legitimate because Senators and Representatives are elected directly by the people.

Power in Congress is usually determined by the seniority system.

Answers to fundamental questions

In the majority party the party which controls Congressthe person who has served the longest has the most power. The problem with the seniority system is that power is not based on elections or on who is most qualified to be in a position of authority.

Congress is also paradoxical because, while it is good at serving particular individual interests, it is bad at serving the general interest due to its fragmented structure of committees and sub-committees.

The manner in which Supreme Court Justices are elected is not democratic because they are appointed by the President for lifelong terms, rather than in regularly scheduled elections. There is a "non-political myth" that the only thing that Judges do is apply rules neutrally.

In actuality, they interpret laws and the Constitution using their power of judicial review, the power explicitly given to them in Marbury v.

Though it has been termed the "imperial judiciary" by some, the courts are the weakest branch of government because they depend upon the compliance of the other branches for enforcement of the laws.

The bureaucracy is not democratic for many reasons.Democracy - The legitimacy of government: According to Locke, in the hypothetical “state of nature” that precedes the creation of human societies, men live “equal one amongst another without subordination or subjection,” and they are perfectly free to act and to dispose of their possessions as they see fit, within the bounds of natural law.

“This kind of effort should be a mutual one,” Putin said, meaning that Russia would then expect to be granted entry to the United States to take part in questioning . The U.S. - a Legitimate Democracy?- 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. Questioning Justice: Law and Politics in Judicial Confirmation Hearings introduction Like all constitutional democracies, the United States is committed to both self-government and the rule of law.

Our Constitution embraces each of these But because in a democracy the legitimacy. The United States is no longer a “full” democracy because of an “erosion of public trust in public institutions” — a circumstance that benefited Donald Trump’s ascent to the White.

The legitimacy of the United States government is limited, but in a system of government which was designed not to work, complete democracy is most likely impossible. Bibliography Dye, Thomas R. Who's Running America? The Clinton Years. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Lind, Michael.

The U.S. - a Legitimate Democracy? | Novelguide