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What Is Happening With American Democracy?

Copyright: Jingoist Photography

Wednesday night marked the final charade in the series of Trump vs. Clinton escapades. Along with a sigh of relief came one of the biggest questions in modern history: what is happening with American democracy?

Democratic ideals have always been the center of policy and legislation in the United States. Wednesday night came as a rude awakening, when a presidential candidate uttered comments that, yet again, could not be taken back. Trump proclaimed that depending the results of the election, he “would not believe them.”

This overarching statement has caused havoc on social media, implying that elections are not true. This is ridiculous. As archaic as the Electoral College system is, the United States is a consolidated democracy.

America is not under one-party rule

What Trump is implying is that America, the country to which he claims he loves so much, is an illiberal democracy or under one-party rule. The hypocrisy is quite evident, due to the fact that both of these regimes are form of authoritarian regime, and therefore mocking him. Clinton, in her rebutted attempts clearly tried to fix the situation, but was unsuccessful. Trump, grasping at straws, again lead into the 33,000 emails that she deleted from her server after the subpoena from the FBI.

This is not the first time that essential democratic concepts have been questioned during this election cycle. Previously, Trump questioned the enforcement of rule of law, and its implications for Clinton. By questioning big democratic cornerstones, Trump is clearly sending a message about how he believes the American political system operates in an illegitimate way.

Many regimes that do not successfully implement rule of law are often prone to operating as a rentier state, thus subject to kleptocracy, corporatism, cooptism, and clientilism. This, however, is not the case in the United States. Despite Trump grasping at straws and blaming the system, the system is not at fault.

As a legitimate, sovereign nation with checks and balances, the idea of power wielding its ugly head is not factual. Maintaining liberty, participation, and competition America continues to change, evolve, and grow.



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  • America is definitely not a one party rule. Good point! On one hand he is implying he wants to make America great again, but in fact he does not believe in foundational postulates of democracy America represents.

  • America is not under one party rule, just two party rule. I’m not going to make a bunch of snarky comments about how we have sooo many choices – all two of them – but you get the idea. What should be particularly alarming to anyone that values competitive elections is not that Trump questions the legitimacy of this system, but that with a mere two choices, there are oligarchies in charge of each of those choices who have shown a willingness to sabotage their own side if the people manage to get a candidate who is not of the oligarchy’s mold. That attacks from the Democrats against Trump are to be expected, but that so much of the Republican Party is willing to throw this election because they can’t control Trump, shows me that we were once a consolidated democracy, that has slowly devolved to an oligarchy.

About the author

Elizabeth Brewer

Elizabeth Brewer

Elizabeth Brewer is an Associate Editor for Naked Opinion. She is Yale Young Global Scholar 2016. In her free time, she enjoys competitively swimming, debating, and discussing current events with her peers. She is energized by international policy and United States politics and hopes to continue to write, read, and research them in the future. Elizabeth is from New York City.


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