The USA is a fake democracy if what you mean by “democracy” is a system in which the will of the people prevails in politics. Instead the US system is designed to prevent the will of the people from prevailing but at the same time make it look like the will of the people is the ultimate in politics.
How is this done?
We have two identical parties that pretend to represent different polls of the political spectrum when in fact they agree on most everything. So no election ever changes anything in any substantiative way. Elections only determine who gets the spoils and plumb jobs in any election cycle. It is clear that the Democrats will never seriously reduce military spending while the Republicans will protect entitlements. The two parties determine which questions we are allowed to vote on; and those questions are mostly meaningless. Who do you vote for if you are passionately anti-war? If you want the corporate welfare ended? If you want to reform education — really reform it by sending it back to the states. The other parties? The two major parties have passed laws and rules that effectively makes politics in the USA a two party affair — third parties are merely for registering a protest vote.
We also live so far away from our rulers. I don’t have much of a chance of seeing my mayor to talk to him but I have much less opportunity to see my governor. President? Get real. The larger the political jurisdiction, the harder it is to exert any influence or get any questions answered. Then there are all the bureaucracies that make “regulations” that are really laws that must be obeyed but we don’t get to vote on the bureaucrats. I called the Department of Education once to seek clarification on a rule that was hurting my school. That was a complete waste of time.
And we can not even really find out what is going on since the government issues lies and propaganda. There is only the illusion of journalism to counter the government propagands. The press in the American system seems to exist to help the government propagandize the masses, not to inform them of truths. A few journalists like the progressive Glenn Greenwald try to show the hypocrisy and the lies of mainstream journalism but there are far too few reporters like him. Mostly journalism is just a propaganda arm of the State.
We have a government that seems to be run by lobbies. We have the defense industry lobby, AIPAC, the teachers unions, the environmentalists, the pharmaceutical lobby, the various corporations, and on and on — rule by special interest groups.
The whole thing looks to be hopeless as the schools produce a pitiably ignorant population that can’t vote wisely even if they had the real information to judge with. Of course all of this is disguised by the “our team v. their team” excitement built up by the press and various pundits. This allows everyone to feel included and allows people at parties and bars around the nation to offer their “considered” opinion of who should win.
The parties don’t really offer candidates; they offer a product that focus groups, polling and ad agencies have concocted. You are voting for a brand, not a man. The only way out of all this is to convince enough people to stop voting. It is time to withdraw your consent to be ruled by this odious system.