The US’s Democracy Features Essay
To many people, the US is one of the most democratic countries in the world. Additionally, it is one of the most decentralized governments in the world. However, some people believe that the US is more of a democratic republic than a true democracy. Nevertheless, some states practice pure democracy through various referendums on issues affecting their citizens. This essay provides and insight into the features of the US’s democracy.
In a democratic country, citizens decide on policy matters directly through voting or other methods. Therefore, the US is not a pure democracy but a democratic republic. The explanation to this is that people vote for representatives who, on behalf of them, vote on various issues in the US’s parliament.
Nonetheless, in layman’s terms, a democratic government derives its powers from the people. Also, a democratic government accounts to the people on the usage of this power. In this regard, the US can be referred to as a democracy. Additionally, there are instances of pure democracy in the US. For instance, states conduct referendums to vote on various issues affecting their citizens.
The law prevents the executive from interfering with civil liberties in a limited government. For that reason, a limited government cannot interfere with individual rights and freedoms. These restrictions are usually documented in a written constitution. The US’s constitution greatly limits executive powers through delegation. For that reason, the US is a good example of a limited government. A limited government ensures that there is a separation of power and more than one level of government.
For instance, the US has three arms of government. The three arms include the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. Also, each arm has specific duties and responsibilities. Therefore, it is unlikely for any arm to abuse its powers. To give the electorate and the elected leaders more powers in decision-making, the US has decentralized power to the states and local governments. The US has a federal system of government made up of the central government, states, and the local government. In a federal government, the central government devolves some of the governing powers to lower levels. Also, these levels of government are limited by checks and balances.
Consequently, no policies are implemented without the three levels coming into an agreement. For that reason, state and local governments enjoy autonomy to a certain degree in the US. Moreover, states and local governments have political and administrative powers.
In political terms, credit claiming occurs when a politician tries to generate a belief that he is responsible for the success of something. A credit claim is, therefore, an accomplishment that a politician uses to gain more recognition.
For instance, during the 2012 presidential campaigns, President Obama kept on reminding Americans that his administration killed Osama bin Laden. Romney, on the other hand, claimed that his record shows that he is bipartisan. Therefore, credit claiming is a means of convincing the electorate that a leader is capable or has been tested. Moreover, a leader can explain to the electorates why he is better than his competitors through credit claims.
Image is one of the most important aspects of the US’s politics. To many people, the appearance of a leader matters. In 1960, Richard Nixon won the presidential debate against John F. Kennedy on Radio. However, John F. Kennedy won the next debate, which was broadcasted live on television. This victory was attributed to John F. Kennedy’s general appearance. For that reason, political parties spend a lot of money on their candidate’s looks. For instance, John McCain spent $5,500 on a Hollywood makeup artist to enhance his image. Therefore, adopting a signature look is a plus for any politician.
Most of the aspects discussed above confirm that the US is a model democracy. For instance, decentralization has enabled the US to strengthen and enhance the stability of its democracy. Also, each group, in the US, has the opportunity to control its affairs since decentralization has brought power closer to people. Leaders who occupy offices in a lower government tend to understand people’s problems. For instance, a mayor is closer to his people than a governor or a president.
Therefore, he is more responsive to people’s needs. Local governments also enable citizens to be more active in public affairs. Therefore, they have an opportunity to question and monitor their leaders. For that reason, leaders are forced to account for their successes and failures. Accordingly, leaders are less likely to abuse powers. Moreover, other arms of the US’s government, such as an independent judiciary ensure that they are more checks against the abuse of executive power.
It is very difficult to gauge how democratic the US is. However, it can be concluded that the US is one of the most democratic countries in the world. Additionally, decentralization of power enables all the US citizens to take part in decision-making. Furthermore, the different arms of the US government ensure that office holders do not abuse their powers.
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