American Democracy and Equality Criticism Essay
The fact that the realities of today’s living in America the least relate to the societal notion of ‘equality’ is quite self-evident. It simply could not be otherwise in the country, where there are citizens who live in the cardboard boxes, on one hand, and citizens who fly private jets, on the other. However, the absence of even the smallest traces of ‘equality’ in America can be confirmed not only within the context of what accounts for the living standards, on the part of the country’s rich and poor.
Apparently, the same can also be done, in regards to the fact that the American version of ‘democracy’, which supposedly empowers U.S. citizens politically (regardless of what happened to be their social status), is nothing but a euphemism to the notion of the ‘dictatorship of bankers’ – something that cannot have anything in common with the notion of ‘equality’, by definition. In this paper, I will explore the validity of the above-stated at length.
Body of the paper
One of the most fundamental equality-inducing principles of a political governing, which supposedly ensures the proper functioning of democratic institutions in the U.S., is concerned with the assumption that, while casting ballots during the time of elections, citizens are able to affect the course of the country’s continual development. The inducing factor of equality, in this respect, is concerned with yet another assumption that, regardless of what happened to be the extent of a social prominence, on the part of every particular citizen, she or he is believed to exercise the equal amount of a personal influence on the process of a political decision-making in the country.
This again is based upon the idea that, while electing their Senators/Presidents, the Americans do in fact face a qualitative political choice, as every of the would-be-elected politicians are assumed to represent a qualitatively different political agenda.
In light of what appear to be the de facto realities of how the American political system actually functions, however, this idea can be best described as conceptually fallacious. The validity of this statement can be illustrated, in regards to the actual mechanics of Presidential elections in the U.S. After all, does it not look somewhat odd that, despite the fact that the average number of political parties that send their candidates to participate in these elections usually ranges from 10 to 15, it is specifically either the representatives of Democrats of Republicans, who always come out winners in the end? Moreover, as practice indicates, it has always been the case that the so-called ‘independent’ candidates and the candidates that represent different political parties in America rarely score more than 1% of the total number of cast votes.
For example, during the 2008 Presidential elections in the U.S., the voting rates of Barack Obama (Democrat) and John McCain (Republican) accounted for 52.78% and 45.85%, respectively, whereas, their closest rivalry Ralph Nader (‘independent’) ended up favored by only 0.56% of voters (Antle 28). Does it mean that, as compared to Obama and McCain, Nader had shown the lack of ability to indulge in the populist rhetoric? Most definitely not. Yet, there is nothing ‘mysterious’ about the mentioned results of the 2008 Presidential elections – throughout the Presidential campaign’s entirety, American media remained solely focused on covering the election-moves of either Obama or McCain, as if the rest of competing candidates simply did not exist. This, however, cannot be explained by the fact that the Presidential ratings of Obama and McCain were much higher, as compared to the ratings of their rivalries. After all, it is well known to people associated with mass-media that the popularity of just about any American politician positively correlates with the number of times that he or she has been shown on TV.
This leaves us with only one possible explanation to above-described phenomenon – the difference between Republicans and Democrats is merely formal. Both of these political parties work on behalf of America’s actual rulers – the enormously wealthy representatives of the country’s banking elite, which exercise a unilateral control over the functioning of the Federal Reserve System. This also explains the mentioned peculiarities of how American mainstream media go about covering the political developments in the country (especially, the ones that are concerned with Presidential elections) – these media are owned by exactly the same people, who ‘own’ both: McCain and Obama.
Therefore, there is nothing surprising about the fact that, regardless of whether the U.S. President happened to be a Republican or Democrat, the country’s foreign policy remains the same. In essence, it is being concerned with sowing the seeds of chaos all over the world (Basevich 148) under the excuse of protecting ‘democracy’ (the most recent example – Ukraine), as the mean of maintaining the investment-appeal of the so-called ‘U.S. treasuries’ – hence, postponing the time when the U.S. economy collapses, due to the enormous budget-deficit of $1.3 trillion (Young 7). It is namely America’s ‘successes’ in this particular field, which define the qualitative aspects of the country’s domestically deployed social policies, and not the wishful thinking of whoever happened to be the next ‘talking parrot’ in the Oval Office.
What it means is the idea that American citizens are ‘equal’ (at least during the time of elections), is deprived of any rationale, whatsoever. The reason for this is that, as it was shown earlier, in the U.S. there can be no elections per se, but only the periodically occurring public spectacles, loosely related to the notion of ‘elections’. One may wonder why spending money on these spectacles, in the first place? The answer to this question has to do with psychology – people are naturally driven to believe that, while existing as the society’s integral parts, they nevertheless are able to exercise a full mastery over their destinies. This is the reason why they need to be provided with the illusion of ‘choice’.
Allegorically speaking, on a shelve with the bottles of ‘Coca-Cola’ there must be the bottles of ‘Pepsi-Cola’, as the instrument of ensuring the high sales of both of these beverages, which despite tasting exactly the same, are being considered different.
Thus, Presidential elections in the U.S. can be best described not as the instrument of citizens’ ‘equalization’, but rather as the mean of reducing the measure of their discontent with the rationally recognized fact that they have no influence, whatsoever, on how the American political system operates.
The additional mechanism of depriving American ordinary citizens of even a hypothetical opportunity to have a voice on how their country is being run, deployed by the America’s rich and powerful, is concerned with the fact that the U.S. Presidential elections take place on an ‘indirect’ basis. That is, American citizens initially elect the members of the so-called ‘electoral colleges’, which consequently elect the President. Based on what happened to be the density and ‘usefulness’ of the population in every particular state, each of these states is assigned with its own ‘voting rate’. For example, the ‘voting rate’ of California is 55, whereas, the individual ‘voting rates’ of Utah, Montana and Alaska account for 3.
This, of course, creates the situation when, within the methodological framework of how the American political system functions, some of the U.S. states are being naturally deemed ‘important’, while the others suffer the consequences of being considered ‘unimportant’. It is understood, of course, that this adds to the political disfranchisement of the ordinary Americans even further, because the mentioned situation creates the objective preconditions for a ‘political worth’ of every particular citizen to be somehow associated with where he or she happened to reside.
I believe that the earlier deployed line of argumentation, in defense of the idea that the U.S. does not provide its citizens with the right to enjoy a de facto political equality, is fully consistent with the paper’s initial thesis. The described state of affairs, in respect to the subject matter in question, appears to have been predetermined by a number of different factors, the main of them was the establishment of the privately owned Federal Reserve System in 1913 – contrary to the most fundamental provisions of the U.S. Constitution. Ever since then, American ordinary citizens have been deprived of their right to take an active part in the functioning of the U.S. political system, while turned into nothing short of ‘statists’ in the political games of the country’s most powerful bankers, who ‘pull strings’. This is exactly what the American version of ‘democracy’ stands for.
Antle, James. “Trying to Be Mr. Right.” American Spectator 45.5 (2012): 26-30. Print.
Basevich, Andrew. The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Print.
Young, Jane. “Washington Record Second Trillion-Plus Deficit in U.S. History.” Human Events 66.36 (2010): 7-7. Print
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