Is The Unites States Political System A Legitimate Democracy?

In any system, which claims to be democratic, a question of its legitimacy remains. A truly democratic political system has certain characteristics, which prove its legitimacy with their existence. One essential characteristic of a legitimate democracy is that it allows people to freely make choices without government intervention. Another necessary characteristic, which legitimates government, is that every vote must count equally: one vote for every person. For this equality to occur, all people must be subject to the same laws, have equal civil rights, and be allowed to freely express their ideas. Minority rights are also crucial in a legitimate democracy. No matter how ...

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government may be considered legitimate in some aspects, and illegitimate in others. Because voting is class-biased, it may not be classified as a completely legitimate process. Although in theory the American system calls for one vote per person, the low rate of turnout results in the upper and middle classes ultimately choosing candidates for the entire nation. Income and education determine class, and differing levels of these two factors can help explain why class bias occurs. For example, because educated people tend to understand politics more, they are more likely to vote. People with high income and education also have more resources, and poor people tend to have low political efficacy (feelings of low self-worth). Turnout, therefore, is low and, since the early 1960s, has been declining overall.
The "winner-take-all" system in elections may be criticized for being undemocratic because the proportion of people agreeing with a particular candidate on a certain issue ...

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influences. "Special interests buy favors from congressmen and presidents through political action committees (PACs), devices by which groups like corporations, professional associations, trade unions, investment banking groups-can pool their money and give up to $10,000 per election to each House and Senate candidate"(Lind, 157). Consequently, those people who do not become organized into interest groups are likely to be underrepresented financially. This leads to further inequality and, therefore, greater illegitimacy in the democratic system.

The method in which we elect the President is fairly legitimate. The Electoral College consists of representatives who we elect, who then ...

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Is The Unites States Political System A Legitimate Democracy?. (2004, October 14). Retrieved March 26, 2019, from
"Is The Unites States Political System A Legitimate Democracy?.", 14 Oct. 2004. Web. 26 Mar. 2019. <>
"Is The Unites States Political System A Legitimate Democracy?." October 14, 2004. Accessed March 26, 2019.
"Is The Unites States Political System A Legitimate Democracy?." October 14, 2004. Accessed March 26, 2019.
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Added: 10/14/2004 04:07:27 AM
Category: Government
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1313
Pages: 5

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