Democracy in America - Analysis Essay

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The U.S. democracy is one of the best in the world, and this is the reason the United States of America is referred to as the world's leader. It is also one of the oldest democracies that has provided guidelines to the people of America on different fronts; a phenomenon that has entitled the country to be the pace-setter in many fields. Moreover, it is of relevance to point out that despite the great diversity that exists in the USA regarding its people, its democracy has been deeply rooted in its constitution and strong institutions that made it possible for the 50 states to work together to the benefit of all Americans.

The Constitution

Strength

The main strength of the United States Constitution is its contribution to unifying different states and people to make up the country of the United States of America (Connor & Hammons, 2008). To appreciate this strength, one has to recognize the high level of diversity that exists in these states among the citizens concerning their heritage and economic activities. However, through the provisions of the U.S. Constitution under the Articles of Confederation, these states were given a healthy level of autonomy that helps them control their affairs in a manner that best fits their people (Connor & Hammons, 2008). Moreover, the Constitution gives power to the federal government to bind all the states together through the provision of a common agenda to the people of the USA.

 

Weakness

The formulation of the U.S. Constitution was aimed at uniting states together to be under one federal government. To make that a reality, the spirit of the interest of the people could only have been captured through inclusivity. However, this spirit of equality and inclusiveness is highly undermined by the stipulations under Article II, Section 1, Clause 5, which outlines the requirements one has to meet to qualify for running for the presidency. The demand is that one has to be "a natural born American Citizen". (Kryzhanovsky, 2007).This means that even a young child born abroad to non U.S. citizen parents who later immigrated to America while the child was small cannot be eligible to run for the post. The intention of this demand was to ensure that no foreigners would be at the center of the U.S. Administration. In the case above, having migrated to the USA at a young age, the child over time becomes a fully fledged American who can lead his or her nation; thus, this demand of the Constitution becomes discriminative.

Ways to Uphold the Strength

The unifying effect of the U.S. Constitution is something to be envied across the world. Therefore, to ensure that people remain united, objective amendments in this spirit need to be introduced to ensure that at any given time the demands of the Constitution reflect the ambitions and interests of the majority of American citizens (Kryzhanovsky, 2007). The Constitution, being the guideline of conduct within a state, needs to include demands that reflect the situations people find themselves in, therefore, amendment provide a platform where the Constitution can be corrected or strengthened to handle the new changes.

Correction of the Weakness

In the spirit of inclusiveness and taking care of the interest of the American people as intended by the founders of the nation, Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 needs to be amended to reflect the spirit of the new world order where people are free to live anywhere in the world once allowed by the administration of that particular nation. The amendment should come up with new guidelines that give equal opportunities to all the people who qualify to be called American citizens. However, the residential time frame of citizenship should be maintained to ensure that only people who have lived in America long enough to know and appreciate the ambitions and interests of the American can become their President.

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Federalism

The USA is governed through a federal system where there is power sharing between the states and the central government (McKeever & Davies, 2006). This means that some functions are subject to the jurisdiction of the central government and others come under the state government.

National Policy

These are the functions that fall under the central government and are the ones whose uniformity is required across all states during their implementation. They are usually capital-intensive or requiring high-end expertise and, in this way, can only be afforded or managed well by the central government on behalf of the state government (McKeever & Davies, 2006). One of such initiatives is National Drug Control Policy. The intention of this policy as stipulated by the Obama administration was to handle the problem of substance abuse as a disease and was aimed at coming up with policies that will prevent drug abuse and suggesting restoration policies to help the addicts. The policy is under the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) that works within the federal government (National Drug Control Strategy: Policy and Research, 2015). Its primary role is proposing policies that the central government should use across the country in an attempt to reduce drug abuse, thereby improving the health status of individuals leading to safer communities.

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Advantage. The consolidation of efforts at the federal level enables the proper coordination among researchers in major universities in the USA that help come up with data-intensive policies. Working closely with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) research funds is available, not to mention the copious database from all over the world since NIDA funds more that 85% of the world's research on drug abuse (National Drug Control Strategy: Policy and Research, 2015). The policies based on an intensive research database enable the formulation of practical and inclusive preventative drug abuse measures.

Disadvantage. Generalization of the issue poses a problem of bias in terms of territory-specific control measures taken by the central government (Wilson, 2010). In particular, drug abuse varies on different territories due to changes in accessibility of different drugs. Therefore, with the agency's aim at coming with an umbrella drug control policy, there is the likelihood of overstatement of similarities between states and unique problems may not be given enough attention.

The Way of Maintaining the Advantage. The strength of drug abuse measures/policies depends on the intensity of the research done before their formulation. Therefore, more funds need to be channeled into the cause to ensure that the agency has enough resources to conduct the necessary research that will help to come up with up-to-date countermeasures against the vice in different communities.

The Way of Correcting the Disadvantage. Drug abuse being a problem affecting different communities in a unique way, there is a need for channeling more effort into identifying territory specific behaviors that will help in coming up with tailor-made policies that will ensure each unique case is handled adequately across all states.

Branches of the Government

Branches of the government provide the tools to uphold law and order within a state. In the U.S., the case does not differ, and the ideology of federalism that works through separation of powers or strong branches of governance plays a critical role in maintaining the rule of law by well-coordinated cooperation between the states and the central government (Barbour & Wright, 2015). One of the branches that play a crucial role in the U.S. democracy is the United States Congress.

Strength

It is the branch of governance that is at the heart of passing new laws, amending existing ones and turning initiatives mostly emanating from the administration into laws. This primary law-making role not only makes the Congress a strong branch of government, but also renders it vital in ensuring that the rule of law is maintained through the objective passing of laws (Bardes, Shelley, & Schmidt, 2007). Being the legislature, the Congress plays a huge role in influencing the direction and the interests that the American people champion.

Weakness

One of the greatest weaknesses of the U.S. Congress is as regards accountability of individual members; this is because of the huge number of its members, making it difficult for the public to hold them accountable for their different roles in passing laws (Barbour & Wright, 2015).

How to Maintain the Strength

The immense power vested in the Congress to make laws remains crucial to the rule of law in the USA. The only way the Congress can maintain this strength is by staying true to the spirit of the American people through passing laws that fit the people's interests. Acting oppositely might force the public to amend the Constitution through the mass initiative.

Improvement of the Weakness

With the huge number of members, individual accountability needs to be upheld, and this is something that can be done through active involvement of the public (Barbour & Wright, 2015). The Congress needs to be reformed to shrink the number of members in order to make it easier for the public to identify individual members and their role while passing legislation that is sometimes for or against the will of the majority. This way it will be possible to make individual members accountable for malpractice when the situation demands so.

Federal Elections

Elections are the mother of any democracy as they provide a platform through which the public determines their leaders (Brewer & Maisel, 2015). It is through the elections that citizens can change the course of their country's development by voting out leaders who seem not to take the country in the direction preferred by the public. Electing new leadership that upholds the interest of the majority ensures that the country's policies reflect the will of the electorate.

Positive Impact

Elections allow the citizens to run the affairs of their democracy through sequenced elections. This permits the people to safeguard their interests by ensuring that at any time different branches of their democracy composed of leaders agree with them ideally (Hansen, 2014). This enables the people to protect their democracy from any case of bad leadership.

Negative Impact

High-level competition election years present the time when people display their respective party preference namely the Democratic and Republican parties. This clearly divides people (Brewer & Maisel, 2015) who, due to heated debates that candidates pose as they try to convince people to vote for them, sometimes forget they are all Americans.

Method of Upholding the Positive Impact

The only way to uphold and improve the positive impact of the election is through improving the credibility of the results (Brewer & Maisel, 2015). The aim of the elections is to allow the citizens to choose their leader, hence, their will should be reflected in the results.

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Improving the Negative Attribute

Divisive politics should be discouraged through strict guidelines of the way candidates and their followers should behave while campaigning. This will ensure that the candidates who go contrary to these guidelines are not only eliminated from contesting but tried in court. Coming up with clear guidelines will ensure the spirit of unity is maintained throughout the campaign time (Hansen, 2014).

Conclusion

It is evident that the U.S. democracy is complex, needing its parts to work together to safeguard the democratic spirit. Moreover, through the analysis, it has become clear that each variable possesses in itself strengths that need to be protected if the spirit of democracy is to be upheld across the country. However, there exist some weaknesses that need to be addressed to ensure that the American democracy becomes more effective. Besides, it is obvious that at the center of this democracy there lays the crucial role that people play in the form of elections. Over and above, it is evident that huge gains that have been achieved in the U.S. are closely associated with the stability of the existing democracy; however, some weaknesses can still be observed demanding attention if this democracy is to continue being the pace-setter among the others.

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