I am afraid the United States has become a failed democracy. The most crucial point is that now if Democrats propose legislation which would be tremendous benefit to Americans, the Republicans see that as a disastrous consequence for them, and so will do everything to kill such legislation. Case in point is the current infrastructure legislation proposed. In my estimation, this is the most beneficial legislation for Americans proposed since Social Security and Medicare. It is no surprise that Republicans are doing everything to block it.
The more successful Republicans are at blocking Democratic proposals such as universal healthcare, living wage, police reform, improving workers’ rights, addressing the climate change crisis, the more our democracy will fail. As a matter of fact, I cannot recall any legislation proposed by Republicans for the benefit of ordinary Americans. Tax breaks for the wealthy are their cup of tea.
The fact is the wealthy, the richest 1%, have completely undermined our revered democracy. To quote from my book, “Leave the Rat Race to the Rats”:
“Did you know that the number of registered lobbyists in Washington has more than doubled since 2000 to 2005 to more than 34,750 while the amount that lobbyists charge their new clients has increased by as much as 100 percent? Only a few other businesses have enjoyed greater prosperity in an otherwise fitful economy starting at $300,000 per year. Some 12,467 lobbyists were registered with the federal government in the first half of 2009. Under these circumstances, the interests of poor people do not stand a chance. We must change these circumstances.”
Even worse, some Democrats act like Republicans because they receive huge funds from corporations. Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema are perfect examples of this.
Democracy depends on an informed public, but so many voters are victims of fake news, lies and distortion. Our democracy is also ravaged by voter suppression and gerrymandering. But the worst consequence is the extreme division and polarization that has loosed a tidal wave of hate on our society. The house divided is falling.