Age of Political Absurdity.
Despite Increase in Elections and Number Of Voter Turnouts, Democracy Is Deteriorating.
Democracy has been gradually declining, notwithstanding an increase in elections and voter turnout. Precisely how markets continue to depict a very positive picture even when the economy slips into recession, given the rising unemployment rates, declining wages, and growing economic inequality. It’s also indicative of the fact that elections alone won’t fix democracy. Despite elections, democracy is not being delivered and rather backsliding.
In the words of David Frum and explanation by David W.Orr, “We are living through the most dangerous challenge to the free government of the United States that anyone alive has encountered. what happens next is up to you and me.” David W. Orr illuminates it in an outstanding compilation of essays on democracy, Democracy Unchained.
It is so tempting to think what is happening currently in America is not what America stands for. Still, the reality differs because somewhere, it does denote a damaged part of the United States of America.
Are you committed to democratic values or democratic rituals? Democratic rituals are performed for the act of it and are hardly associated with the essence of democracy. These are mostly pretense plays, generally carried out under pressure from internal and external sources only to look like having played by the book. What needs attention is the question of whether election results are genuinely going to depict American consensus. Is there something far deeper happening in the shadows?
The numbers depict bleak data on transfer of power throughout the world. Here is what Susan D. Hyde and Nikolay Marinov found.
As N. Cheeseman explained in his book, how to rig an election, if we “consider the entire universe of all elections globally, only about 30 percent of elections result in a transfer of power. In other words, incumbents win seven times out of ten — and this figure has not moved since the early 1990s.”
President Trump demonstrated the danger and possibility of not having a smooth transfer of power. This act of his has made the public increasingly skeptical. America direly needs a transition to more democratic rule. Donald Trump does not pay any mind to democracy or the lack of it, let alone a display of it. The whole point of elections won’t make any sense if the transfer of power doesn’t happen smoothly. It’s a sheer insult to democracy to conduct the elections and not put your faith in voter’s decision.
For democracy to sustain and improve over time, we need democratic structures that go over and above periodical picking of representatives, especially representatives representing the business world. Elections can weigh a lot if there is popular involvement in the planning and implementation of public policy, which results in a participatory selection of legislators. Unless there’s a separation of political decisions from the economic clout one possesses, democracy cannot thrive. The public is not just meant to vote politicians to power and follow orders in a top-down control from corporates, says Noam Chomsky in an interview with David Barsamian.
Democracy is not an easy goal to achieve. However, the bare minimum that it can deliver is abiding by the election result, which is nothing but the choice made by people. What is happening in America currently displays that democracy has failed to live up to its promise.
Let me end with the words of David W. Orr. In his essay, Does Democracy Have a Future? he explains, “it becomes all but impossible when corrupted by greed or overrun by partisans too certain of their certainties. In the absence of rules, partisan advantage trumps the common good, and democracy deteriorates into a barroom brawl that describes our current political predicament all too well”.
 Cheeseman, N., & Klaas, B. (2019). How to rig an election.