The current political state of American politics has resulted in an overall concern that our democracy is in crisis. Contemporary concern of an unresponsive political system aimed towards addressing domestic and foreign challenges have increased frustration among Americans. The founding principles of equality, freedom and fundamental human rights are currently under threat with the current administration. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index consisting of 167 countries with 60 indicators categorized the United States as a flawed democracy. The 60 indicators are composed of 5 categories which include, political participation, electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, democratic political culture and civil liberties. These critical elements of democracy are existential threats in contemporary American politics. American democracy is currently experiencing many challenges that include government manipulation of media, civil society, rule of law and elections. In addition, there is an exponential increase in toxic polarization at a nationwide level. An important component to consider in contemporary American politics is the 2016 presidential election. President Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election but did not win the plurality of the popular vote. Trump’s divisive campaign rhetoric was perceived by many as authoritarian persuasive language aimed at polarized and separate voters. According to Lieberman, “President Donald Trump’s campaign’s rhetoric was weightily focused on “racial resentment among white working Americans, invoking anti-Muslim sentiment, attracting white supremacy, anti-Semites and Islamophobia.” The divisive rhetoric created a toxic polarization in the public sphere, resulting in a distrustful, hostile environment that increases the threat of democracy. The usage of hate speech among political leaders is a contributor to polarization and essentially, a threatening variable to democracy. Political institutions are a critical component of maintaining a healthy and stable democracy. These institutions include the state’s legislature, Supreme Court, political parties, independent press, along with others. President Donald Trump has continuously undermined and challenged many of these fundamental institutions and his presidency has been affecting the normal equilibrium of the United States government, resulting in a constitutional crisis. Trump has attacked the United States courts, stating that courts that rule against his Muslim Ban are directly putting the country at risk. President Donald Trump has created suspicion of US elections by declaring that millions of people voted illegally against him. Trump has also criticized the entire US intelligence community. He has questioned the US Intelligence assessment on North Korea and Iran, as well as rejected the CIA conclusion that Saudi Arabia’s Prince was involved in the murder of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Donald Trump has also undermined Congress by declaring national security to fund the United States and Mexico border wall, despite Congres’s decision of denying Trump money for his wall. The ridicule of core institutions has a tremendous impact on the principles of democracy. President Donald Trump undermining these core intuitions weakened American democracy. The Trump era has also challenged interlocking liberal commitments, including economic openness and internationalism. Liberalism refers to consent, freedom, and autonomy as foundational moral values. Far-right, conservative- anti liberals not only question the openness in the economic sphere but the core liberal values of equality and tolerance. Anti-liberal sentiments have remarkably impacted on United States relations with other states. Consider the case of Iran, in 2015, the United States and Iran signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of action, which was considered a diplomatic achievement of former President Barack Obama. The JCPOA was designed to limit Iran’s nuclear activity in exchange for reductions of sanctions. President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal from the JCPOA on May 8, 2018, and was considered a highly controversial decision due to American allies opposing the decision. The Trump era has remarkably shaped the interlocking liberal commitments, causing hostility among the international community. These commitments include economic openness, Internationalis and openness to cultural and political pluralism, which are driven by liberal, democratic values. The end of democracy in the United States would be detrimental. Contemporary politics has proven that American democracy is at risk, the impeachment mechanism have basically proven not to work, and the United States constitutional system has increasingly directed more and more power to the executive branch. The framers of the constitution feared tyranny and design the presidency and Congress as a check and balance system to avoid the accumulation of power. The accumulation of power in the presidency over decades is precisely those powers that President Donald Trump is abusing. The rate of democracy erosion in the United States is alarming and it is critical for Americans to defend our democracy, the very foundational values that truly made this country great.
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This article made some interesting points in regards to the 2016 election and the Donald Trump’s rhetoric towards muslims, hispanics, and other minorities. I like how the article argued that the use of this type of rhetoric has been a main factor in the polarization in United States politics. I would argue that it had enhanced the polarization and brought from the dark and into the light. This rhetoric has forced politicians to make tough decisions and they have been judged and watched based on them. However, I would disagree that this government has been an unresponsive one. I believe the administration has been responding. Unfortunately, when they do respond it is either too late or the wrong response.
First off, your writing style, organization, and structure of his paper worked so well to flow your ideas and sources together in a very well written and coherent argument about President Trump’s attack of US institutions and the eroding of US democracy. You started off strong by listing the measures of US democracy that support the point of your blog, that President Trump’s administration has fundamentally eroded and changed US democracy on a dangerous level. The effect of which would be detrimental to the international system, given the US’s long-standing central role in the international sphere.
You start with how Trump’s campaign and the divisive and populist rhetoric that demonized Muslims, sowed distrust between Americans, and attacked fundamental pillars of our democracy. The years since his inauguration have only worsened in these respects. You also state the very real threat of democratic erosion in the US and frame it with great sources and points. You see the US’s role in the world as the example democracy as important and the failing of such a position would spell disaster.
The other strong aspect of this blog post is his tie-ins with in-course topics. You allude very well at the concept of executive aggrandizement with Trump’s actions in strengthening the executive through his many attacks on important US democratic institutions and the seeming concept of democracy itself. You are clearly passionate about the topic and sees the issue as critical, as we are possibly at an important cross roads in American history.