U.S. No Longer Considered A “Full Democracy” — And It’s Not Trump’s Fault

By Carey Wedler

The United States is no longer a full democracy, according to an annual report recently released by The Economist. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s ninth annual Democracy Index details the decline of democracy not just in the U.S., but also around the world.

The rankings cover 165 countries and are determined by a variety of factors. The report (which is downloadable upon registration explains):

“The Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. Based on their scores on a range of indicators within these categories, each country is then itself classified as one of four types of regime: ‘full democracy’; ‘flawed democracy’; ‘hybrid regime’; and ‘authoritarian regime.’”

The number of countries ranked as “full democracies” fell from 20 to 19 in 2016, and the U.S. came in at 21 — earning the designation of a “flawed democracy.” The report explains that the U.S.’ quality of democracy has declined “ as popular confidence in the functioning of public institutions has declined.” The U.S. now ranks behind Japan, which was the highest ranked flawed democracy.

Following the chaos of the 2016 election, it is unsurprising that many Americans are losing faith in democracy. But as the report notes, Donald Trump is not entirely to blame.

“Popular trust in government, elected representatives and political parties has fallen to extremely low levels in the US… This has been a long-term trend and one that preceded the election of Mr Trump as US president in November 2016.”

In fact, it appears Trump simply capitalized on existing sentiments:

By tapping a deep strain of political disaffection with the functioning of democracy, Mr Trump became a beneficiary of the low esteem in which US voters hold their government, elected representatives and political parties, but he was not responsible for a problem that has had a long gestation.

The U.S. government’s attacks on civil liberties and many failed policies have become hallmarks of American policy. Unsurprisingly, the U.S. has slipped in both press and economic freedom in recent years.

But the U.S. is far from alone in its decline as “[p]opular confidence in political institutions and parties continues to decline in many other developed countries, too.”

“Some 72 countries experienced a decline in their total score compared with 2015, almost twice as many as the countries which recorded an improvement (38),” the analysis explains.

Fifty-seven countries stagnated. Eastern Europe suffered the worst losses, with 19 countries slipping in the democracy index. Countries that were deemed to be “full democracies” included Norway at number one, followed by Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand, Denmark, Canada, Ireland, Switzerland, and several other European countries. Uruguay ranked 20th, outpacing other Latin American countries.

The number of authoritarian governments totaled 51. “Around 2.6bn people, more than one-third of the world’s population, live under authoritarian rule, with a large share being, of course, in China,” the report notes, adding that “‘[h]ybrid’ and ‘authoritarian’ regimes are concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa (36), the Middle East and North Africa (18 out of 20 countries), and to a lesser extent in eastern Europe (15) and Asia (13).”

Though according to the index, democracy appears to be working for some nations, others are struggling to uphold the system’s purported ideals. “Since 2006 The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has recorded a decline in the average aggregate global democracy score, from 5.62 to 5.52 in 2016,” the report notes, adding that Western Europe, North America, and Eastern Europe experienced the most declines – even as many Western European nations retained their categorization as full democracies.

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These losses parallel global opinions, which increasingly reflect a loss of faith in democracy. As the report asserts, even those countries that often boast of their democratic history are crumbling:

The crisis of democracy is expressed in the failing traditional political party system; the growing gap between elites and electorates; and the rise of populist parties. The contemporary problems of democracy are clearly not just ‘over there’—in Russia, China, the Middle East or Africa. Democracy is in trouble in the West, in the mature democracies of western Europe and the US, which are no longer obvious beacons for those striving for democracy in the nondemocratic world.

This article (U.S. No Longer Considered a ‘Full Democracy’ — and It’s Not Trump’s Fault) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Carey Wedler and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11 pm Eastern/8 pm Pacific. Image credit: acampadapraga. If you spot a typo, please email the error and name of the article to edits@theantimedia.org.

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18 Comments on "U.S. No Longer Considered A “Full Democracy” — And It’s Not Trump’s Fault"

  1. NJguy - Proudly Deplorable | January 26, 2017 at 12:49 pm |

    Besides the fact that we don’t operate by plurality but instead by electoral college, we have, over the last 8 years, become less of a democracy as Hussein had been leading by edict. Now that law is being restored we’ll be a far better ‘democracy’.

    • This really needs to be discussed in prime time, so the protesting zombies understand that though you may detest the man, the office of president is his; the electoral is a feature not a bug.

    • The USA is not now, nor has she ever been, a “democracy”.

      James Madison, “Father of the Constitution,” argued that in a pure democracy, “there is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual.”

      Delegate Edmund Randolph agreed with Madison, saying: “In tracing these evils to their origin, every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy.”

      John Adams added: “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

      The people who serve within our governments – state and federal – have no power or authority. Instead the power/authority is delegated to the different branches and to offices within the branch. The person who serves within that branch or office is ALLOWED to use the power/authority of the office/branch for as long as the do the duties assigned by the Constitution, take and KEEP the Oath of Office required of ALL who serve.

      St. George Tucker: “The Federal Government is the creature of the States. It is not a party to the Constitution, but the result of it – the creation of that agreement which was made by the States as parties. It is a mere agent, entrusted with limited powers for certain objects; which powers and objects are enumerated in the Constitution. Shall the agent be permitted to judge of the extent of his own powers, without reference to his constituent?” (Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court, ‘Blackstone’s Commentaries On The Law’ (1803))

      Thomas Jefferson: “The several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes – delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force: that to this compact each State acceded as a State, and is an integral part, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party: that the government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but that, as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each party (the people) has
      an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress.”

  2. I’m sorry but America was Never meant to be a Full Democracy! The United States is a corporation and ALL the actors in DC are carrying out the commercial business of imports and exports, and transportation within the US. The United States Corporation Company was incorporated in Florida on July 15, 1925.

    You better learn that you are not a LEGAL FICTION, i.e. corporation, as the “government” has defined you.

    • And ta boot, anyone who thinks this country is supposed to be a full democracy at all is ignorant. Representative Constitutional Republic is the line they have been pitching.

      • Quite accurate, a Republic that uses the method of representative democracy to enact laws, regulations as to continue forward in the vested interests of the Republic. Yet I agree too that we got high jacked into becoming something of a Corporation.

    • First, America is a constitutional republic, and has NEVER been, nor will the USA ever be a “democracy”. That term was used to propagandize, lie, and dumb down the American people.

      Second, since this was done in secret it is NOT binding on the American people, and it matters not how those who serve within our governments try to define you. In our legitimate government, that is treason. Enforcement of it is *terrorism.

      *28 C.F.R. Section 0.85 Terrorism is defined as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”.

      The question one should ask themselves is what is so frightening about our Constitutional Republic that those who want to destroy it has been working at it for decades; really since its conception.

  3. Millions of idiots are going to read that and… “OMG! We’re not a democracy any more!” Sans the idiots who already believe we are a “democracy”. But I repeat myself.

  4. Representative Constitutional Republic (cough)

  5. yeah um we are free people it never was a democracy

  6. Taking over the world is a big project. The Economist represents the globalists talking to themselves. In this case, measuring and charting their success in turning the tide of democracy worldwide, a progress report to see how well they are on schedule toward reaching their goal of total control. If the world were to become more democratic, there would be no globalists at all, so democracy must be turned on its head quickly. The best way to do that is divide every person from every other person in as many ways as possible, then query the angry, separated and confused every year, “How are you feeling now?” and then report their waning attitude as fact. The more humanity believes something, the truer it becomes, thus we fashion the whips and chains that bind us. The Democracy Index Report is how they do it.

  7. The electoral college was a stroke of genius, it prevents certain pools of population from controlling the country.
    Ben Franklin responded to an inquiry from a lady asking, what have we got a republic or a monarchy?“ A Republic, if you can keep it.”
    I would vote to amend the supremes to serve only 8 year term limits and not for life.

  8. Showing me once again the The Economist is a rag!

  9. The Economist is a Rothschild publication and of course an instrument of international bankers.

  10. In 1606 King James set up The Virginia Company to begin settlements in Virginia. Its early members were aristocrats. Eventually it was disolved and formed into a royal colony.

    This means all rights applied to the Virginia Company owners, to the gold, silver, minerals and duties, mined and paid in America, still apply to the British families who own the United States of America and the lands of the united states of America. (spelling intentional)

    After the original 13 colony’s ‘independence,’ an ‘independent’ country was formed. The Virginia Company simply changed its name to the United States of America.

    There are two USAs… a USA and a usA. The united states of America with a lower case ‘u’ and ‘s’ are the lands of the various states. The United States of America, capital ‘U’ and ‘S’, is the acreage on which is built the federal capital, Washington DC and the District of Columbia. The USA is not a country, it’s a corporation owned by the same bloodlines who owned the Virginia Company, because IT IS the Virginia Company!

  11. A Constitutional Republic is what the United States is, was, and always should be!
    We should be on our knees in prayer that it never, not ever, becomes a so called full democracy.
    100% democracy does not work and our founding fathers knew this clearly and so designed a more perfect basis for our country.

    100% democracy is “MOB RULE” society an insane way of living and being…

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