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American Democracy is Rigged


American Democracy is Rigged

Hamid Dabashi

In the United States presidential elections, there are two towering political parties - the Democratic and the Republican - that during the course of their "primary" elections get to choose who will be their respective candidates in the course of a national election.

Although any US citizen can join these two parties - or any other political party - millions of eligible voters have not, and consider themselves "independent".


Is it any wonder people around the world resist American "democracy"?
Regardless the fact it's always imposed with bombs, bullets, drones and grenades, resulting in civilian massacres "collateral damage", massive payoffs to the most corrupt local officials, theft of resources, destruction of infrastructure and all the other blessings it brings ..


Thank you for the truthful analysis, Mr. Dabashi.

Now, could someone please share the unpleasant unavoidable truth with Andrew Bacevich?

"At the heart of this imperial republic that effectively rules the world with its military might (not with any moral courage or political legitimacy), we have an electoral process that systematically bars any critical judgment of its own citizens to disrupt its mindless militarism. American citizens are as much trapped inside this corrupt system as people around the globe are at the mercy of its fighter jets and drone attacks."


Anyone in a state with closed primaries can register as a Democrat or Republican if they want to vote in the primary. Many independents actually favor one party over the other but do not want to register with a party but that is their own choice. Certainly the parties have a right to restrict voting in primaries to people who register with the party. The main thing is that everyone should be able to vote in the general election. The general election is supposed to be completely democratic. Parties are different, they select people to run in the general election. They don't have to have to have primaries at all. Many years ago they didn't and the candides were selected by party insiders. That has changed but still the parties set their own rules. The primaries should not confused with the general election. There is a big difference.


Here in China, democracy is almost the same. The elites choose the candidates and everyone is free to vote for them according to choice. The main difference is that the polling and PR industry is left out and election campaigns are considerably shorter and simpler. Real change in China is motivated by government fear of their massive population of a people who are anarchists at heart. The Chinese appear obedient and conformist, but after nodding and assenting they go off and do whatever they want to.


The first thing to do in order to make primaries more democratic is to get rid of the caucuses. The New York primary was much more democratic than any caucus. There are far more voters per delegate in primaries than in caucuses. In New York the polls were open for 15 hours. A caucus starts at a specific time and lasts for up to two hours. That assures low voter turnout and basically only the people who are most politically involved show up. To focus on New York with regard to obstacles to democracy when about 20 states have caucuses is absurd.


Yeah, but should they have that right? The 2 party system as it is in the USA and the financial machinery that runs it effectively ensures that only a representative of the ruling elites can win. Sanders is a Black Swan. It is a miracle he has gotten this far, and I hope he never stops. Our entire system is in need of a major overhaul.


I linked to an article yesterday about the elections in Syria. They are showing a 73 percent turnout in spite of all the violence that goes on . As this election in Syria goes on the Western media and the US and Western Governmnets label it as a sham as some people (those in ISIS controlled territory) do not get to vote thus the results are deemed illegitimate.

The difference of course is the USA is a Democracy. Right?


This article helped me a lot to understand just how undemocratic the Democratic Party has become. It needs to be broken up or sidelined for good until it becomes democratic again.


Ever since the concept of "democracy" arose there have been those voices that cotend that ANY system that allows for Political parties will become undemocratic. This not isolated to the USA. The way these parties operate in virtually every country on the Globe is very much the same.

So as example , here in Canada our own NDP drummed a person out of the party because that person was a critic of the State of Israel. The leaders of Political parties meet in backrooms without consulting the public at large and create scripts that its members must follow.


Even in Canada?! I'm heartbroken, and running out of options ....


Nothing is rigged. It's just that people are too stupid. I've been voting enough times to know that there are never only to candidates on the Presidential ballot, neither are the only two party choices in Congressional, state or local elections. Stop whining and go vote.

Then again, after watching some videos online with people being asked questions about elections in general, i think there should be some kind of test before someone is allowed to vote. Some people are just too dumb to be allowed to decide the future of a country.


I believe the simplest solution legally and Constitutionally, if not politically, is for federal law to require the party primary system to allow same-day primary day voter party registration, i.e., a state-registered voter's vote on primary day is that voter's party registration.


Closed primaries might be acceptable in a nation where more than two parties were able to play on a level field.

To wit:
Ever since third party candidate Ross Perot performed better in the debates than Bush 41 and Bill Clinton combined in 1992, it became illegal for third party candidates to attend let alone participate in debates. I recall Ralph Nader being threatened with arrest when he showed up at a debate and Jill Stein being arrested when she showed up, and

During the past decade some states (California and Washington, for example) started having "top two primaries" that (for all offices except the Presidential ticket) limit the general election ballot to only the top two primary vote getters, which has invariably resulted in two D's, two R's or a D and an R on the general election ballot.

We have ever increasing voter suppression, AND we have ever increasing candidate suppression.


You're preaching to the choir Mr. Dabashi. There are very few who visit this website that would dare to call the U.S. a democracy.


And the first question should be does to=2?


That's what AK has and that's Alaska not Arkansas....


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.



This poster not only is too dumb to vote, he's too dumb to post at CD!

That's a great idea lamonte7!

How about a spelling and history test before we allow you to vote? Remember the time you told me that Thomas Jefferson wrote the US Constitution???? Pssssssst! You wouldn't pass the vote test, buddy. And neither would most of your uneducated pals over at Faux News. Shaun Insanity for example, never went to college. The moron throws a football at the camera since that's as far as his education took him: football!

I played high school football also and voted for Reagan. Then I rolled up my sleeves and got an education in college and discovered how much a mistake voting for selfish neo-cons like Reagan was.

The Gipper and his neo-cons destroyed America. Perhaps we should only let people with college degrees vote?


No disrespect, but more restating of the obvious. Sigh.