The States are Democracies, but the United States Is Not
The individual states of the United States are democracies, but the union of the states is not.
Consider that when interpreting people’s opinions about US democracy.
Pew Research Poll
A Pew Research poll in 2022 found
“A majority of Americans are dissatisfied with the way democracy is working in the country. About six-in-ten U.S. adults (58%) say they are not satisfied with the way democracy is working in America.”
“[T]he vast majority of Americans (85%) said that the U.S. political system either needs major changes (43%) or needs to be completely reformed (42%). Among U.S. adults who say they want significant political reform, 58% said they are not confident the system can change.”
That’s not too surprising, though the individual states are democracies, the United States is a republic of those states attempting to balance the rights of all states.
The Union Is Not Democratic
The United States is a democratic republic. The Individual states have democratic elections, but the United States does not. It is ruled, as specified in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, by the results of elections in the individual states. Those state results are expressed in the composition of Congress and in the election of the president by the Electoral College.
Each state in the union has two senators, elected by the state’s voters. This senior body of the legislative branch has numerous powers, including approval of the presidential nominees, ambassadors, and foreign treaties.
About 16% of the total US population, the twenty-five least populated states, elect half of the senators. That leaves 84% of the citizens represented by the other half of the senators. That is not democratic.
Two elections in the past seven have seen the electoral college deliver a winner who received fewer votes that his opponent. The installed president was not the majority’s choice, not the democratic choice.
House of Representatives
The House gives a better indication of overall United States voting sentiment, but it is distorted by gerrymandering. For example, in Pennsylvania’s 2012 representative elections, more Democratic votes were cast than Republican, but thirteen Republicans were seated and only five Democrats. Clearly, that’s not democratic representation.
Needed Changes in Elections
Elect the 100 senators from evenly populated districts. The figure on the left is a sample map of proposed senatorial districts.
Elect the president with the largest national vote. Get rid of the electoral college. Direct election will also lead presidential candidates to focus on all voters, not just those in battleground states.
Minimize gerrymandering. Have professional geographers draw Congressional districts based on local commonalities. Remove politicians from redistricting. Their self-interest biases them.
Pew Research Poll of June 30, 2022. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2022/06/30/how-americans-see-their-country-and-their-democracy/
Population Density Map. https://i.redd.it/jotr8catz0111.png
Equal Population States by u/Narmatonia https://mapsontheweb.zoom-maps.com/post/157197367566/50-us-states-with-roughly-equal-population-by
Representation Must Match Votes Gerrymandering is an abuse of majority rule.
Two Campaign and Four Election Process Changes Let’s have all the information we need to evaluate the presidential candidates.
Democracy or Mobocracy Individual rights are not subject to majority approval.
Constitutional Paradox Presidential pardon example.