Is America a True Democracy? Essay

November 2, 2021 by Essay Writer


Democracy is where the government allows all its bona fide citizens an equal opportunity in decision making. It is also about giving citizens an equal participation through representation by leaders. It is a fact that the United States was the first country in the world to have a democratic constitution.

This qualifies the American constitution to be the oldest in the world. The United States may appear to be democratic in all the aspects of governance. The government has even tried to extend the ‘democracy’ to other countries. Looking critically at the operations of the United States, one is left with many unanswered questions. To a greater extent, it could be concluded that the United States is not a democracy.


Democracy lacks when gerrymandering is allowed to take place. This has to do with manipulation of district boundaries for elections’ purposes. It is either done to assist or hinder the residents of a district with regard to the elections (Buckler 1). In the final analysis, the equality that the constitution stands for is lost.

Electoral College

The Electoral College is another process that puts democracy of the United States to the test. Although it appears to be a well set process, the Electoral College denies the citizens the right to elect their leaders directly.

When the citizens cast their votes in a presidential election, they give the electors in the college the voting power depending on which party has taken the lead in a particular state. This system was put in place by the founding fathers but it works against the tenets of democracy. It is not practiced anywhere else in the world since it is a dilution of democracy.

Republic vs Democracy

In the pledge of allegiance, the word ‘republic’ is used instead of ‘democracy’. According to experts, the sovereignty is vested on people in a republic government. The word ‘people’ may be in singular or plural form in its use here. The same sovereignty is vested on a group of people when we talk of democracy. Here, the minority gets their will and the majority their way. This means that it’s the majority who dictate what the minority are to follow. Based on the foregoing, the pledge of allegiance negates democracy.

Racism and Discrimination

The United States has one of the ugliest faces of racism and discrimination in the world. For so long, the Black Americans and other minority groups have been segregated. In an apparent attempt to create self defense, these groups discriminate against the whites. The current leadership indicates aspects of discrimination. If democracy really exists, the people would look at one another as fellow countrymen without putting color first.

Foreign policy

The foreign policy adopted by the United States causes a lot of confusion among its citizens and other people from outside. The government has been fighting countries whose leaders do not seem to agree with its policies. In most instances, the United States interests in such countries seem to be the driving force. The trend is an attempt to dictate to other countries the kind of leaders that should be elected.

Democracy should never be about one country interfering with the internal affairs of another. Another issue that puts the democracy of the United States to question is the International Criminal Court at The Hague. United States is not a signatory to the Rome Statute and hence its citizens cannot be tried at the court for crimes against humanity. This does not mean that the countrymen are not involved in atrocities. The government has been at the front line in forcing other countries to adhere to the court’s requirements through all means.

Works Cited

Buckler, Justin. “Population Equality and the Imposition of Risk on Partisan Gerrymandering.” Case Western Reserve Law Review 62.4 (2012): 1037-1055. Academic Search Premier. Web.

Further Study: FAQ

? Why is America a democracy?

The US is democratic due to the core democratic values that unite the nation. First, they included life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. Then such values as justice, diversity, equality were added. Patriotism and popular sovereignty also play a significant role in making the country democratic.

? How democratic is America?

A democracy is defined by the rule of public, who can regulate the country directly or indirectly via the elected representatives. In the US, governmental processes are complicated. But some of them, like ballot referendums, are undeniably democratic. Thus, America is at least partially democratic.

? What is a true democracy?

The direct rule of the public defines a true democracy. Without any representatives, people can decide on political initiatives via an immediate vote. It differs from the majority of the democratic governments that involve representatives.

? In what ways is the US not a true democracy?

There are quite a few political processes in the US, like the Electoral College, do not involve a direct vote from the public. It makes the country a republic where the elected representatives make decisions.

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