Every political theorist ever has noted that democracy is a complex system that has stiff requirements for success. It requires an active, educated, and engaged citizenry. It requires minimal inequality (so as to minimize power differentials between citizens). It requires elites as committed to some form of majority rule as everyone else (all systems require elite subscription to function). And these are just the most basic requirements.
The US falls short on every single one of them. And a most readers here already know, we’re not a democracy in any meaningful sense of the word. Our elections have more in common with the ones in the old Soviet Union than in the fantasies of western canon. Like the former, it was usually a contest between which face you liked more. But the policies were gonna be the same regardless.
One reason that so many people–and this includes an increasing number of some well educated scholars–are leaning towards a more centralized authority is that at least an autocratic system has the off chance that a good King/CEO/Lord of the Universe might turn out to be not a huge douche. And with absolute power, something good might come of it. No lobbyists. No corruption (hey, when you already rule everything, what else can anyone bribe you with?). It’s the classic Hobbesian sovereign.
I have had a long love affair with democratic traditions, and I still do. But it’s a historically contingent system. And history isn’t conducive to functional democracy at this time. The experiment will be put on ice for awhile.
Our challenge isn’t restoring/creating democracy. Our challenge is to restore quality rulership in any form. And then hope like hell for the best.