Growing up in the United States of America you learn at a young age that we live in a democracy. Kids dream of the day they turn eighteen and have the right to vote. The rights to voting have not always come so easy, there was once a time women and people of color could not vote. Today we take pride in our country because we have freedom of speech and everyone over the age of eighteen now has the right to vote. Our Founding Father’s created a new republican form of government, in which was established by the US Constitution. This form of government is a democracy, the basic features are “regular open elections, equal-vote majoritarianism, accountable public officials, a workable division of power within government, as well as a free press, freedom of expression, freedom of association, and various forms of protection for political dissent and critique”. Without these conditions our country would not have prevailed the way we have.
According to Talisse, in order for a system of government to be called legitimately democratic there must be freedom, fairness, equality, and justice to security, peace, and prosperity. People are still often frustrated with democratic institutions even if they fulfill the functions because some don’t think it is a form of government or a kind of social order. They believe that the process of political order is ongoing social process as well. We see a common dissatisfaction in democracy due to a lack of voter turnout and dishonest politicians. As much as people love to talk about politics we see that there is less than 50% of our population actually participating in elections. We see arguments about feeling like our votes don’t really impact presidential elections due to the Electoral College. Many don’t see that voting in state elections practically determines how your state votes in the electoral college. I believe that if we were taught more about this in grade school there would be less confusion.
Democracy is often only looked at as only having a big government and having a say in who runs our government. Many people do not take into account that our government is built of the US Constitution. The Constitution set up a series of laws that protected the individual’s rights and would allow there to be an opportunity of changing and reevaluating policies. What makes up our democracy is the separation of powers that we have implied. Through the three branches of government we avoid the government to be ruled by “ignorant masses”. The three branches all have different duties and powers which enforces power to be equal and hard to change policies overnight.
Faith in democratic institutions can be restored through politicians providing trust to the citizens. If we saw more politicians out in the community interacting with society, it would not only help us trust more in politicians but would also help voter turnout. The Founding Father’s intended for our democracy to complex and over time we can see that we in fact have a very complicated from of government.
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