American Democracy: A few basic questions

Democracy. “official definition” – 1 a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.

Application: “The United States is a free country.”

“Coded” meaning –  The United States is better, in every respect, than every nation in the world.

Is the statement True or False?

Is this a “free country”?

If so, in what ways?  Is the political process reflective of the sovereignty of the people or is it more complex than that?

How long has the United States been a democracy?  How long has it been a free country?

Are U.S. citizens constrained in fundamental ways or subject to the whims of a single person or institution?

To what extent does the government serve as a guarantor of public goods and personal freedoms?

To what extent do entities other than individual persons compete for rights and privileges?

Are individuals and “the government” the only pieces of the political puzzle?

7 comments

  1. Hmm, concerning the forms of democracy, it’s set in the Constitution… but words do change (I mean the meaning). That’s why it’s quite dangerous to set the rules down in words (i.e. the Constitution). It depends on how the words are interpreted, and someone might get an ‘upper hand’ through such interpretations.

    But frankly, I don’t know how to resolve this problem… It’s something to be think of tho…

  2. As I argued today, with the highest rate of incarceration in the world, as well as the highest numbers of people behind bars (not the same thing), we aren’t exactly a free country.

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