Okay, trick question. The United States was never
a democracy, it's a republic. (The difference, for those who don't know, is that in a democracy, the leader is elected by direct vote of the citizens. In a republic, the citizens vote for representatives, and the representatives vote for the leader.)
But that's not really what I was getting at.
At this point, as a practical matter, it is the amount of money, rather than the number of votes, that controls who's elected to higher office. (I'm putting aside the issues of voter suppression, and rigged computerized voting machines fron the past two presidential elections. I'm strictly focusing on money.)
- It's takes hundreds of millions of dollars to run for President. (In some stated, it can take tens of millions to run for the Senate.)
- Wealth in the USA is distributed very unevenly. A very small percentage of the people control most of the wealth.
Consequently, most voters don't ever even HEAR most Presidential candidates. In 1992, for example, 250 people ran for President. In 2004, 13 parties appeared on the ballot as Presidential candiates, plus another 30 or so individuals as independent ot write-in candidates.
Perhaps worse, if a candidate gets less than 1% of the vote, their individual results aren't reported. Think about that. If 60 million people cast ballots, and 500,000 vote for you, it's not even reported!
True, it's still the votes the are ultimately counted, but people aren't machines. After months of hearing that only two, or at best three candidates are worth voting for, most people actually believe that. They don't even know what the platform of the Constitution Party, or the Personal Freedom party, is. Basically, for the most part, only candidates with big money even get a chance to compete.
So, is 'Money-ocracy' the better description?