America’s Fragile Democracy: Why We Should Get Concerned is a widely discussed topic these days. Before going into the details, we have to explain the term democracy. Democracy is such a form of government where individuals chose their representatives to make laws and take decisions for their betterment. In America, the notion of democracy has continuously been discussed in social circles. Some of the political scientists term it as the central power of the country. While on the other hand, some of them consider American democracy as a fragile democracy and raise their concerns over it.
America’s Fragile Democracy and other state organs are interlinked. If one is stronger the other as well. Equal rights to its citizens are also a major factor to determine that to what extent one state owns democratic values. In the United States of America, many scholars are concerned over the fragility of democracy. In their argument, they quote the violation of basic human rights of the black Americans which has been guaranteed by the constitutions of the state. Despite the constitutional guarantee of the state, before the 1960 era remained questionable when black Americans faced a lot of trouble to vote for many important elections.
The United States Constitution
The United States was unique in drafting its constitution before an election. The U.S. Founding Fathers consciously resisted monarchical precedents, including those of the British government and Parliament. While the founders made many radical political choices—such as using impeachment as a remedy for political wrongdoing and an Electoral College for presidential elections—they did not disregard democratic principles.
The Constitution was framed to represent popular sovereignty—an electoral democracy—where all eligible voters would choose the president and choose who would make the laws.
Democracy in the United States
Four broad forms of political institutions in the United States have defined the country’s politics.
There is the office of the president, elected by a plurality of votes in national elections. Elections in the United States are often divided into two distinct parts: primary elections, in which candidates vie for the support of specific constituencies, and general elections, in which candidates compete for the support of the entire electorate.
There are various congressional, state, and local elected offices, which are collectively referred to as the government. Elected officials in the United States are often referred to as “officials,” even when they hold one of the office’s lower levels.
There are a host of nonprofit, interest-based groups and associations.
Fragility in democracy in USA
To explore more about the fragile democracy in the USA we need to go into details. What constitutes a democracy? And why do democratic values seem to be so fragile in America today?
Democracy means many things to many people. But essentially it is the public and open political sphere. Democracy also means freedom, the ability to disagree and choose among different opinions, and the freedom of speech, the right to discuss and to be critical, and the right to a free press.
So how is it possible that so many Americans still feel threatened, dismissed, and demeaned by “the other”—even when all are members of the political community? One reason is the inability of Americans to actually discuss the state of American democracy. This paves the way to establish the notion of fragile democracy and people show their concerns about it.
What is America if it is not a democracy?
A flawed definition of democracy means that a country might not qualify as a democracy even if it has developed democratic institutions. However, a narrower definition of democracy might define the United States as a democracy even if there are weaknesses in its electoral processes. A study of more than a hundred countries showed that while electoral systems vary, some aspects of democracy — such as multiparty representation, non-democratic power transitions, electoral democracy, and independent media — are universal across countries. They also happen to characterize the United States: a representative democracy that ranks 37th in a recent ranking.
Politicians, scholars, and other pundits frequently argue that the United States should regard itself as a democracy rather than America’s fragile democracy.
The notion of fragile democracy is a concern for the world. America’s “worldwide web of surveillance and suspicion” is chilling, not least because of its security implications for the United States. Like many other civil rights, human rights, and political freedoms that the United States supports, it is important to know if there are vulnerabilities that the surveillance programs may introduce to the nation’s democratic foundations. The possible digital security flaws that the Snowden revelations have exposed should have no effect on the nation’s commitment to freedom, democracy, and the rule of law, but these issues are important not only for the United States but also for the entire world.