The United States was never a democracy to begin with. The Founders were really just a cabal of oligarchs that decided to detach from the British Empire and rule America themselves. The fact that only white men with property could vote is an example of the illusion of democracy. Westward expansion and Native American genocide and colonizing Puerto Rico among other islands were other examples of the illusion of democracy because colonialism is by definition undemocratic. Slavery is also obviously undemocratic. 100 years of separate but not so equal (read: apartheid) was also deeply undemocratic. The attempts to bring back the Jim Crow South by Republican politicians via Voter ID Laws is just one present day example of being undemocratic. Really, we’ve had a history of not having any democracy at all longer than we’ve had democracy in the Western Hemisphere.
This explains why throughout the United States’ history we’ve failed to export democracy and instead export “savage capitalism”, fascism, and dictatorships around the globe. We don’t have a democracy in the first place so it makes no sense to try to export democracy around the world. We’ve toppled democratically elected regimes simply because their ideology conflicts with privatization and supply side economics. Any regime that inhibits the free market or resists the influence of the U.S. is deemed illegitimate. Even in our own hemisphere since the infamous “Monroe Doctrine” we’ve actually undermined democracy and human rights and civil rights of millions for over a century and decided to stop European empires from establishing puppets and vassal states in the hemisphere by creating our own.
The Sedition Act of 1918 was also a big crack in the illusion of U.S. democracy. The idea that there can be no dissent and that war is sacred and that anyone who tries to challenge the status quo is an enemy of the state or the nation itself is extremely undemocratic. For the last 100 years there’s been no real mainstream Left (socialism, anarchism, communism, etc.) in the United States. Even if you disagree with these ideologies and their different shades such as democratic socialism and anarcho-syndicalism, that doesn’t mean that these ideas shouldn’t even exist. We have essentially had a century of thought crime in the U.S. If you believe your own personal ideology to be the best then why do you have to silence other ideologies? In the eternal war of ideas there can never be a clear victor. If you believe your ideas are the best then they will become a part of the dominant orthodoxy in America. Why do we have to limit people’s options and make our sphere of consciousness so narrow? During the “Red Scare” and the rise of McCarthyism it was considered practically a crime to be on the Left even though we had socialist New Deal policies. The New Deal which was really socialism was never called socialism and in a weird way anything openly socialist was relegated to communism and Marxism which were seen as negative and ungodly. A number of celebrities, artist, actors, directors, musicians, among others were blacklisted. Pluralism is an essential part of every democracy. The more you have conformity and uniformity the more you are not in a democracy. The people must be allowed to choose what ideas they like and then choose elected officials to implement them and turn them into policy. We must have a free market of ideas.
The height of democracy in the United States was the civil rights movement and labor movement. Civil rights leaders and leftists were targeted, isolated, ostracized, assassinated, imprisoned and exiled during that time. Legendary anarchist Emma Goldman was actually against woman’s suffrage because she realized that it would have virtually no effect on our democracy. Women being allowed to vote have not made the United States any more democratic. Having more women and minorities involved in government and the democratic process has not made the United States more democratic. I think Obama’s presidency has proven that representational government is meaningless. The system and the superstructure are still evil. It doesn’t matter if it’s a woman or a black man in charge of it. If Hillary became our president instead of Trump the empire would still continue perpetual war and police state and environmental degradation and mass surveillance and income inequality and patriarchy etc. It would merely mean that there is a female at the head of a patriarchal structure. Barack Obama becoming president is just having a black man at the head of white hegemony.
The hubris of Hillary Clinton acting like the oval office was her right and her minions saying “it’s just time” and that anyone who doesn’t support her is sexist was all anti-democratic. You don’t elect someone solely based on the fact that they have a vagina. Hillary is not an heir to a throne. Hillary is not the crown princess or whatever. This is not a monarchy. Yes, Hillary was the most qualified out of the people who ran but she shouldn’t have run in the first place. Hillary kind of best illustrated that we are an empire and that U.S. elections are basically electing an emperor. Much of the mainstream media thought Hillary was destined to be the empress elect. The United States at best is a top down democracy. “Chief and them” decide the parameters of debate and the values and the talking points and the dogma and who you can choose from. When it should be the people, and the electorate, and the constituents that decide the direction of the country. Noam Chomsky describes this in his celebrated book “Manufacturing Consent”.
Political tribalism is what is killing us at this point. I first realized this when many on the “Left” pretended as if President Obama could do no wrong. And it was all about the Republicans (who are insane) that were stopping him from being progressive. Then it was Ron Paul could do no wrong. Then it became Hillary can do no wrong. And now its Trump can do no wrong. Each side deifies and worships their leadership. Idol worship is at the heart of this political tribalism. The different political tribes establish mantras and dogmas and purity checklists and demonize anyone who deviates from party lines. This was illustrated best when recently Glenn Beck fired Tomi Laren from “The Blaze” for being pro-choice. Tomi deviated from the script and that is the ultimate taboo or apostasy. I’ve also noticed that the United States is becoming more and more an ultra-opinionated society and if anyone disagrees with X or Y opinion then they are the enemy.
In a sick twist of fate Donald Trump being elected president of the United States has liberated many to the illusion of democracy. Trump knows the empire is self-destructing and he just wants to enrich himself, his family, and his fellow kleptocrats in that process. Donald Trump is the personification of capitalism (and patriarchy). Any system that produces an amoral, apathetic, psychopathic, narcissistic, megalomaniac Vulgarian such as Trump as its leader is not democratic. The Electoral College is not democratic. The corporate mainstream media that ignores everyone besides the chosen ones of the political aristocracy and that ultimately wanted to build up Trump for ratings and then have Hillary Clinton win is not democratic. The two-party duopoly is not democratic. Needing corporate donors to get elected is not democratic. The debates that are merely just bread and circus at this point are not democratic. Winner take all democracy is not democratic. The fact that all Republican politicians have to say is the words: “socialism”, “terrorism”, “Marxism”, “radical Islam”, “Freedom”, “criminals”, “thugs” and the rest of the trigger words in their lexicon to get the population to basically turn off their brains is not democratic. When the public is so deeply anti-intellectual and ignorance is seen as a virtue and strength then you are not in a democracy. George Orwell said it best in his famous book “1984”: “Freedom is slavery. War is peace. Ignorance is strength.”
Left wing Libertarian Noam Chomsky states that the system is broad but only in one direction – to the Right. You can’t be to the left of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. You can’t be anti-war. You can’t be a democratic socialist. You can’t be a feminist. You can’t be an anarchist. You can’t be an environmentalist. You can’t be a vegan. You can’t be an atheist. You can’t be a civil libertarian. You can’t be anti-fracking. You can’t be pro-Palestinian. You can’t be anti-imperialism. You can’t say black lives matter. You can’t occupy Wall Street. You can’t be against free market or globalization. You can’t be against Neoliberalism. You can’t acknowledge Native Americans. You can’t be against Big Pharma. You can’t be for $15 minimum wage. You can’t want universal healthcare. You can’t want free higher education. You can’t vote third party. Then people on the right are still mad that you can’t be racist, nationalist, Christian fundamentalist, sexist, anti-Semitic, islamaphobic, bigoted, xenophobic, etc. However, racism, sexism, bigotry and xenophobia are anti-democratic. Why? Because they lead to the anti-democratic voter ID laws or ghettos or limiting civil liberties and so on and so forth. South African apartheid for example was obviously undemocratic. White nationalism is undemocratic. Christian fundamentalism (and any theocratic politics) is undemocratic. Anti-Semitism like we saw in Nazi Germany is undemocratic. And yes, even islamophobia and Zionism are both undemocratic.
The U.S. recently had the highest income inequality on the planet. This is deeply undemocratic. It leads to plutocracy and kleptocracy. The people with the most money have more of a say which is the core tenet of capitalism, which is of course undemocratic. The privatization of everything is vertical not horizontal. Corporations are inherently autocratic. The donors to the top two political parties basically dictate the direction of the country. Numerous studies have proven that the 1% has a disproportionate amount of control of our society. The bottom 70% of Americans has virtually no influence on policy whatsoever. America is becoming a collection of corporations and Donald Trump is basically the CEO and his administration are the board members and the oligarchs such as Robert Mercer and Rupert Murdoch are the stockholders. The United States is no longer a nation state or a democracy or a republic but a corporate state. We are not citizens or even humans; we are just workers and consumers.