Seymour Martin Lipset, on the other hand, would have found the American political system disappointing in terms of how democratic he found it to be. He believed that “the more well-to-do a nation, the greater the chances that it will sustain democracy”. (Lipset, quoted in Edwards 2010) But, clearly, despite America’s enormous wealth the country has only a plutocracy to show for it. This undermines Lipset’s theory of democracy.
In recent years there have not been any significant changes to the functioning style of American politics. The 9/11 terror attacks added fuel to America’s already aggressive foreign policy approach. But the domestic policy had continued its neo-liberal emphasis and pro-business orientation. As a result the economy went into a crisis precipitated by the housing market bubble-burst of 2008. And it has continued to remain in the recession mode for many years now. Unemployment rates have reached unprecedented levels even as health care costs and college tuition keep nudging upwards. The recent years have been some of the most acutely distressing for the American population since the Great Depression of the 1930s. This state of affairs is a reflection of the lack of a functioning democracy here.
Belen Fernandez the noted journalist working for the Al Jazeera network sees American democracy from a post-colonial strategic perspective. She is critical of American diplomatic and military interventions in the Middle-East. The fact that a decisive majority of the American population are against these interventions underscores the failure of American democracy. According to Fernandez, the threatening rhetoric toward Iran and Syria is indicative of a lack of democratic will to reign policy measures. She believes that the election and re-election of Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 respectively has neither improved the state of American democracy, nor have they allayed the fears of insecure enemies abroad. Fernandez accuses “neoconservatives, Zionists, and other creatures” for stoking fears concerning Islamic nationalism in Iran. She is critical of their false rhetoric about “the exporting of radical Shiite teachings to Latin America and the alleged susceptibility of the US-Mexico border to penetration by Iran.” (Fernandez, 2013)
Belen Fernandez, (15th September 2013), Iran’s Invisible Army in Latin America, Al Jazeera, retrieved from <http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/profile/belen-fernandez.html> on 25th September 2013.
Edwards, George C., Martin P. Wattenberg, and Robert L. Lineberry. Government in America: People, Politics, and Policy (15th Edition, 2010)
Wilson, James Q., and John J. Diiulio and Meena Bose. American Government: Institutions and Policies (12th ed. 2010)