The Strength of U.S. Democracy IV. Why I am so Optimistic about our Future.

My last few posts on this website have discussed the great strengths of our democracy.  Fundamentally, it is the decentralized, republican structure of our government as a collection of states, each with many powers and responsibilities as conferred by the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution.

It is the combination of this decentralized, democratic form of government along with our dynamic free-enterprise economy which has made us so strong.   Consider:

  • Regular and fair elections are the bedrock of democracy. Elections are conducted at the state and local level by state and local election officials.  Votes are counted at the county level and there are 3143 counties in the U.S.  County election workers are friends and neighbors which makes fraud very unlikely, and widespread fraud virtually impossible, because it could only happen on a multiple county basis.
  • Divisive and controversial issues are ultimately resolved at the ballot box. For example, Donald Trump was elected President in 2016 even though he has an abrasive and narcissistic personality.  His election denialism about losing in 2020 is now leading to his political downfall.  Trump-endorsed election denialists mostly lost in the 2022 midterm elections which otherwise should have been a good year for Republicans.  Trump has now become a huge liability for the Republican Party and is unlikely to be nominated again for president is 2024.
  • Social progress in the U.S. First, intermarriage between minorities and Caucasians is gradually reducing political polarization by expanding the number of citizens participating in mainstream culture.  Secondly, the African/American middle class is also steadily growing.  Both of these trends strengthen democracy by bringing more minorities into the mainstream.  Furthermore, the merits of good old-fashioned hard work are strongly supported by most Americans.
  • The economic and military strength of the U.S. The U.S. has geographical advantages such as friendly neighbors, north and south, and ocean protection, east and west.  But it is mostly our hardworking, industrious, and patriotic citizens that have made us the in the world both economically and militarily.  In addition, the U.S. has many freedom-loving friends and allies, primarily other democracies.  In fact, the economic strength of the free world greatly outweighs the economic strength of the non-free autocracies.
  • Autocracy is more fragile than democracy. Of course, the U.S. has major problems to solve such as inflation, huge national debt, poverty, homelessness, overly expensive healthcare, etc.  But our main adversaries, China, Russia and Iran, all autocracies, have much bigger problems than we have.  Our country could splinter apart if we were to ever stop making social progress, which is unlikely.  But autocracy is inherently more fragile than democracy because it denies the universal desire for freedom and independence that democracy represents.

Conclusion.  Americans are very fortunate. We live in the strongest, most prosperous, and one of the freest countries in the world.  We are not immune to making mistakes.  But our decentralized, republican form of government, as well as our great economic and military strength, provides a huge safety net that protects us from many calamities that might otherwise occur.  This is why I am so optimistic about our future!

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