The presidential election in the United States, which takes place every four years, is now on the agenda again, and the mass media of the world are very keen on this story as usual. Due to the fact that the United States has the status of a superpower, the US presidential election is considered to be the standard of Western-style democracy, and the US is surrounded by the glory of its past achievements. In reality, over 200 years of its evolution, the number of problems that American democracy has brought with it begins to exceed its advantages, and essential flaws are gradually exposed.
Despite the fact that there are very different definitions for the concept of “democracy” in the world, there is a common opinion about the content of the basic principles of democratic politics. Under the democratic regime of government, the following four basic principles must be fulfilled: the sovereignty of the people, the power of the majority, political equality, political participation. The modern American model of democracy faces the greatest challenges in these four areas. So, the famous American political scientist Bob Dole notes that “inequality in American politics continues to grow.”
First of all, there are too many voters, and one people’s representative does not cope, and the principle of people’s sovereignty does not work. When the United States just formed a state, one member of the House of Representatives (the lower house of Congress) represented no more than 3,500 voters, in 1800 – 50,000 voters, which is comparable in size to the city in China. According to the same results of the population census in the US in 2010, one deputy represents 700,000 voters. The only thing that such a representative of the people’s power can do is to respect their voters. Representing their interests is almost impossible. There is an opinion that it is more reasonable to limit the number of voters that one deputy can represent – 50,000 people. In this situation, more than 6,000 people will sit in the US House of Representatives, how can we hold meetings?
Secondly, the principle of balance of power limits the application of the principle of majority power. According to the principle of the majority, the decision is considered constitutionally accepted if it has garnered the votes of half the members of the Chamber. However, in US policy, the principle of checks and balances is applied, the consent of the simple majority is not enough. The bill should be considered by the Senate, the House of Representatives and the President, and be approved at all three levels – thus, the three authorities limit and balance each other. The two main parties in the Senate and House of Representatives, in turn, act as mutual limits and balancers. That is, it is enough to get at least 50% approval in one of these three higher authorities, in other words, the approval of 1/6 of the authorities, so that the remaining 5/6 obey.
Thirdly, the influence of capital on the election process remains huge. Despite the fact that the principle of equality of votes is implemented in the United States, the value of votes is not the same. Elections are a very costly process, and the source of funding is key. Political scientists have long come to the conclusion that money for elections should come from public organizations, and not from private individuals and enterprises – in order to avoid their excessive influence in the political sphere. In the US, perhaps, the most loyal policy in the world in relation to financing. The total cost of holding the previous presidential elections reached a record $ 5.3 billion, and a new record will be set this year. Such results were brought about by the fact that simple voters are farther from the decision-making process, while the more powerful classes are getting closer to power, which ultimately leads to the destruction of democracy. A rich class can play a leading role not only in the social and economic spheres, it also expands its privileges to the sphere of politics, thus taking the last line of maintaining the balance of power in the state. This leads to the following phenomena: under the current model of capitalism in the US, the biggest difference in income since the initial accumulation of capital. Important issues remain unresolved, such as the economic development plan and improving people’s welfare, illegal immigration, medical insurance, pensions, and education.
Fourthly, in the very process of voting, the degree of destruction of the American model of democracy is especially noticeable. The voter must have full information, and also have the right to make his own decision. This is a prerequisite for voting. Otherwise, the ballot paper is nothing more than a meaningless piece of paper. Currently, in the US, along with the speed of information dissemination in the media, its quality has significantly decreased. The Washington Post called the presidential election a “false rivalry.” Candidates for the presidency, in order to win voters’ favor, make loud statements, go on empty promises and lies, over and over again shift to China responsibility for the decline of the American economy. How can American voters get reliable and complete information?
The history of American democracy gives at least one lesson: the development of democracy does not stop, and it is like rowing against the current: if you do not move forward – it means that you go backward. In the process of developing democracy, no country can teach democracy to others, and any state should not belittle its dignity.