Is Democracy Still At Work?

Citizens enjoy greater freedom in a democratic government. The people are free to choose and decide on a number of things like their religion, interests, studies, work, etc. while at the same time observing the rules and laws of the land. People can move freely without the state constantly telling them what else they can do and up to where they can go. The public also enjoys a set of innate human rights that the law upholds and protects. Discrimination is discouraged in society and those who are caught violating the rights of another person will be help accountable in court.

American constituents enjoy the benefits of democracy like many other nations in the world. There are times when it is abused but it is likewise put to good use to help maintain the delicate check and balance of the various branches of the government. A democratic system of government is founded on the principle of the rule of the majority, wherein the consensus of the majority wins. It is evident during elections where the people vote for their next leader regardless of their personal and professional qualifications.

Constituent power is a wondrous thing in a representative democracy. After the election in November, political prognosticators speculated that President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act, was probably as good as dead. Some thought President Trump might even sign a “Trumpcare” bill on his first day. But on Friday, more than six months into Trump’s presidency, Senate Republicans announced that their attempt to repeal Obamacare had collapsed.

The defeat was months in the making. In December, we released a Google Doc titled “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda.” As former congressional staffers, we witnessed the rise of the tea party and saw the power of local, defensive congressional advocacy. After Trump’s election, we recommended that progressives implement the same strategies and tactics — minus the racism and violence. To our surprise, the Google Doc went viral, and today there are locally led Indivisible groups in every single congressional district in the country, full of members applying their constituent power.


In this case, democracy saved Obamacare from getting abolished especially that President Trump makes it known to all Republican legislators to get it done by hook or by crook since assuming office. The people choose who to represent them in both the lower and upper house and these elected legislators create, pass, or turn down bills that may or may not benefit their constituents. And it is what had made the abolishment of Obamacare hard for Republicans that had their eye on passing the new health care law under Trump’s administration.

Appointing family members to powerful jobs they’re not qualified to hold. Firing officials investigating scandals. Musing about prosecuting a defeated rival. Entangling his business empire with the presidency to such a degree that he’ll literally profit from his time in the White House.

The early months of the Trump presidency don’t look like what you normally see in a democracy. But they’re everyday occurrences in corrupt, undemocratic countries like Azerbaijan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or even Vladimir Putin’s Russia. And academics who study such countries increasingly worry that President Donald Trump is governing like the leader of the kind of nation Washington has long condemned — not like a president of the United States.

“His refusal to fully divest himself from his business, the linkages between finances and the levers of power — those are the classic symptoms of kleptocracy,” Seva Gunitsky, a University of Toronto scholar who studies post-Soviet states, says. “It’s probably the greatest long-term threat — maybe even short-term threat — to American institutions.”


The problem with the new administration is that it fosters the growth of political leeches that is characteristic of the same issues that abound most struggling third-world countries today. And as such has been a cause of alarm among other politicians both far and wide. It seems that President Trump sees the presidency as an extension of his role as an entrepreneur and businessman and it is obvious in the polities he has passed and is pushing for so far.

Little by little, democracy is no longer practiced as a sort of authoritarian leadership emerges. But will we allow that to happen today that democracy is still pretty much alive? If we love this country and want a brighter future for the millions of young Americans in our midst, let us exercise all the democratic faculties we still have to prevent this from happening and reorient today’s leaders in what they should be doing instead in leading this country to greatness.