One half of young Americans in new poll say democracy in US is 'in trouble' or has 'failed'

  1. Ask people what's wrong with the country and half will say liberals are ruining it with socialism / communism and the other half will say its rigged for the ultra wealthy. We can't fix this without concensus on identifying the actual problem plaguing us.

  2. Of course they do. Any objective person would agree with the same. The House has not been adjusted in 100 years, and we have such WILD ass variation in the population represented by Reps, which is on top of the Senate already being massively skewed. On top of all of that is the massive amounts of gerrymandering that all but eliminates the possibility of what anyone could describe as fair. Hell, even when defending the lines, the Republicans admit they are biased as fuck, just not biased for the wrong reasons. The next bite at the apple is the rampant voter suppression which is bad and getting worse. Any one of these would be bad enough, but all together are damn near insurmountable. Someone ran some math and calculated that, nation wide, Dems need to be about 10% above Republicans in turnout to break even. That is not democracy by any definition.

  3. Yet every time you point out this is a problem on Reddit there is like 1000+ accounts calling you names and defending “the best country on earth”. I wonder why.

  4. The main problem is that the US Constitution was meant to only give a voice to white landowners, and it's stretched beyond its limits. Almost all countries got their first constitution after the US and almost of them are at least on their second (and lots of them are on their fourth or fifth). Unfortunately there is no political will to revamp the political system nor public opinion momementum to force it, so the best you can hope for is another round of band-aids and duct tape.

  5. It turns out it’s hard for young people to thrive when the elderly control the majority of economic and political power in the country.

  6. Millennials and Gen Z are the largest voting bloc in the USA. Vote as if your lives depend on it (because they do).

  7. And constanly work to fuck over the young. They do nothing on guns while they get shot in schools, they constanly make education worse and they created student loans. - other countries have figured out how to educate people without five figures of debt, why can't we?

  8. Here's a chart of age generations in the Senate over time, in case anyone wanted an image depicting how fucked up the lack of proper representation is right now!

  9. This is true and I am a champion of the idea that the previous 2 generations are getting fucked (I'm genx).

  10. Old people get what they want because THEY VOTE, therefore they hold politicians accountable to their demands.

  11. Have you seen the population pyramid? Unless we start having a lot of babies, kill off old folks, or some combinations of the two then we will always have more older folks the. Younger folks. Term limits would be excellent instead of those deeply entrenched dinosaurs.

  12. Us oldest millennials are almost 40, and our representation in government is effectively negative. It's not just "young people." We're approaching middle age and have never gotten a say in basically anything.

  13. This is not quite accurate. It's not just the truly young. I'm Gen X and I'm sick to death with octogenarians making laws because they were paid to make it, or even worse, making laws about things they don't even try to understand.

  14. Also, it's hard to call a system of government "democracy" when there is no viable way to express political opposition to a wide range of American policies -- and not bedrock standards of good government either, but extreme outliers like our unilateral arms race, record-setting prison-industrial complex, nihilistic fossil fuel subsidies, and a civic culture dominated by the media of maybe seven oligarchs. The United States of America is about as much a democracy as the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea is either Democratic or Republican.

  15. We better gear up for this to continue unless something is done to drastically change this. Even so, the results won’t be seen by us, more likely our children after they’re much older. This problem has been handed down the generations rooted in mistrust in the youth and condescendingly patting them on the head with a few old chestnuts:

  16. Well in my lifetime our countries list of important events include 9/11, the 2008 financial crisis, 2 wars driven by profit, 8 years of relatively uneventful calm (except the wars) where 1 good bill got passed as a boiled down neoliberal joke of what it needed to be, followed by a fascist orange idiot, a pandemic, another economic crisis, and a geriatric who's more concerned with negotiating with the fascists than arresting them.

  17. This right here. I have never had the American dream and they've made sure I never will. America has only given me hardships at every turn and I'm desperate to leave for some place like Canada. Where they actually at least try.

  18. Couldn’t agree more. There’s been nothing great about America since I was born. I’m glad I’m not in a 3rd world country but I can hardly say I’m proud to be an American

  19. 100% agree. I’ve heard the saying we’re “a third world country with a Gucci belt”. I mean healthcare, worker protection, outrageous military spending

  20. At least we legalized same-sex marriage…so that’s something…despite how late it was compared to other parts of the developed world. Sadly, that’s about all that comes to mind for positive social change though…

  21. On a local scale: educational costs have risen, healthcare costs have risen, housing costs have skyrocketed, working wages have stagnated, inflation has risen, infrastructure is in disrepair, public transportation, and safety nets have been cut, law enforcement budgets have grown in many cities, education, women's rights, and LGBTQ+ rights are on the chopping block, school board meetings in the age of covid are shouting matches, city councils are rarely attended.

  22. The only thing w me are top 10 in the world is our military. But at the cost of everything else.

  23. You forgot one of the most important factors as far as the question of "is democracy dead": rampant gerrymandering in the House and the inherent flaws of the Senate compounded with the flaws in arbitrary Senate rules along with the Electoral College mean that the minority party has significantly more power than they should - the Senate is split 50:50 when the actual vote breakdown is more like 40:60. Republicans get a boost of like 11% in the House, and there are state legislatures that are so fucked that 55:45 votes end up with 20:80 results.

  24. All of this, and I myself am only 22. I have a feeling things are going to get much, much worse.

  25. I knew we were in trouble when they let the Florida based Cyber Ninjas start the fr"audit" in Arizona. The audit was based on a lie and ended in obscurity. In the meantime, state legislatures have changed voting rules and made it harder to vote based on lies! We won't be so lucky next time.

  26. Tune in for the last American election! Dr Phil and the guy from Dazed and Confused are going to take over the free world and put an end to the evil liberals who want black people to not get shot.

  27. And three administrations ago, the Supreme Court handed Florida (and thus, the Presidency) to the candidate that didn't actually win Florida. I'd argue that our democracy actually failed two decades ago.

  28. A considerable portion of the respondents think democracy is in trouble because we voted that administration out:

  29. It’s probably with mentioning a significant amount of those people probably think democracy is failed because they think the election was rigged against Trump.

  30. They were really trying to do it. The last few months, trump and his cronies were trying to purge the Pentagon and install their own people into important positions. Imagine if they really somehow seize military control. The danger is real enough that a general have to tell his Chinese counterparts we are not going to war just because trump said so.

  31. to be fair, that administration was a culmination, not a aberration. We all loved Obama at the time, but he had his own corruptions. A lot of people forget just how messed up the Bush years were for democracy, and even Clinton before that was making powerful strides to trash on people's rights.

  32. It's amusing (and concerning) that even though the last administration is responsible for a lot of this current negativity, according the article more Republicans held that the country was "in trouble" or "failed" than did Democrats:

  33. If a system allows unqualified uneducated people like Lauren Boebert and Donald Trump to be eagerly voted into important positions of our government by a good chunk of the voting population that simply cannot be trusted to make informed rational decisions, yeah I'd call it a failure too.

  34. Donald Trump got into power with a minority of the votes. That's not the fault of democracy, that's the fault of the system not being democratic enough.

  35. Real question is… did we have these type problems in politics before the internet social media explosion? I feel like we didn’t. It seems like now the metric for being voted in is how well you can sensationalize on the internet and in the infinite “news” cycle.

  36. How have other countries avoided this scenario but kept democratic elections? Asking as an American who went to a public school in Florida.

  37. This is not a good thing. The view is far more prevalent in the party that is trying to kill democracy. They are primed and ready to snuff it out when they get the chance.

  38. It was neither the democracy nor the economy that failed. It was an entire generation that failed. The worst generation just before us whatevers decided to lie cheat and steal their way to success and hold the hill. Our generation wasn't the most politically motivated. If we were more engaged we could have stopped the bleeding. Democracy worked as intended. The economy worked as intended.

  39. I Think it’s pretty obvious we don’t live in a real democracy. If you were to ask 100 people if we should raise taxes on the top 1%, it would be a landslide. I think without a doubt at least 90% would vote on raising taxes for billionaires in a heartbeat. And yet somehow every year it seems like billionaires get a tax break. How in the world can that happen if we are actually living in a real democracy?

  40. If we lived in a real democracy, the Supreme Court wouldn’t be threatening to overturn 50 years of precedent and ignore 60% of the public’s wishes.

  41. This is not a situation where you need to" think positively". this is a situation where you need to be rational...we had a coup .. and it was planned mostly by people in our own government and the people responsible are walking free. This is not good.

  42. The enlightening thing is to understand how much of this is just a result of the way the country was set up, and thus exactly what needs to be fixed to make the system functional again. For example, that the filibuster traces its spiritual origins to John Calhoun's defense of slavery. However, the actual task of fixing things is incredibly daunting because the whole system (and further, much of GLOBAL politics) appears captured by the richest 1%.

  43. That's what happens when one party controls state government voting. If the democrats want anything, they have to find some way to get more of their people in seats. Higher voter turnout helps. I just wish party politics weren't a thing. Its childish as fuck and irresponsible. I want to be able to just look at policies I agree/disagree with rather than what color tie they wear or who their friends are

  44. I mean, a system where I vote for someone I don't even like and think is a bad politician because the alternative is that terrible is what I'd call a failed system. I have never voted for someone I liked except for in a primary and even then I knew they weren't going to win because all I had to do was look at where the money was going.

  45. republicans are stealing congressional seats. They're ignoring independent map drawings and drawing their own. And nothing will happen.

  46. I feel like this is the way the middle east started going backwards in the 70s. I keep getting more worried that is America's future and nobody sees it.

  47. The fact that everyone is wondering about the state of democracy in the US is a very bad sign for democracy to begin with.

  48. Millennial here. Democracy has failed in this country, but it's been this way since I was a child with the 2000 Supreme Court decision.

  49. For the last several decades, one party has been waging a successful war for control while the other party has been burying their head in the sand and just trying to govern. Now that the Supreme Court is locked down, it looks like the war for democracy is lost.

  50. Democracy has failed, Trump is still not in prison, and all the co-conspirators of January 6 are still sitting in Congress laughing their ass off.

  51. Only half? Everyone my age and lower says post late stage capitalism and our democracy are past the failing point.

  52. They’re saying this because it’s mathematically true. We wound up returning to 1900-ish levels of wealth inequality years ago.

  53. I think the more concerning thing is that the majority of people who think democracy is in danger are republicans. They believe the big lie, GOP gerrymandering should be concerning to democrats.

  54. I mean, half of the government is openly fascist, and the other half refuse to acknowledge that and are pretending everything is normal.

  55. I’m so fucking tired of this. Democracy HAS failed. It’s not in trouble, it’s fucked. We can stop “sounding the alarm” like nearly all the headlines about this say.

  56. And when Republicans care not for democracy while Democrats squabble amongst themselves it’s all but guaranteed that this country fails. Want to fix the problem? Stop electing Republicans and elect Democrats with a fucking spine.

  57. Don’t think that these are all progressives or Democrats. A large chunk of these people actually think democracy has failed because they believe the last election was stolen from Trump.

  58. Has passivity ever won against authoritarians with guns? Honest question because I think the answer is painfully inconvenient for democrats and liberals. Has there ever been a time in history when the passive side won on hearts and minds alone?

  59. They’ve finally realized that democracy means “other people get to tell me what to do”. Their imagined solution is a world where they’re free to do whatever they want, but nobody tries to do anything bad to them. Then they call us utopian for wanting affordable health care.

  60. Makes sense. If you think the system is failing and your vote doesn’t matter, the only reason to vote is if you personally believe it’s a civic duty regardless of impact, which is not a widespread belief.

  61. I’m not even 30 and I’ve been through 2 economic crashes depressions and crashes. Outrageous cost of living, stagnant wages all the while the politicians who were voted in to address these problems do absolutely nothing but cater towards their actual donors: those with capital.

  62. I told my father on thanksgiving that the US is now a failed state…his boomer self did not like that. The next day I tried to explain streaming TV instead of getting it though a cable provider and his mind almost exploded.

  63. Can't say that I blame them for feeling that way. Look at the messes that are just being left to fester while the "adults" are fighting over who gets to hold the talking stick:

  64. I''m 63 and I am very worried. 1/2 the country sees the president say the election was rigged (said it was rigged before it happened) and believe him due because of some proof that hasn't come up yet, but they all know is there.

  65. I'm convinced voting or the Dems isn't the way forward anymore. It's failed decades ago and was set up to fail from the start. Only activism, striking and protesting will change anything at this point.

  66. Huge military budget for a country that hasn’t won a war since 1945. Spends the most on health care and has the worst health care. Predatory high interest student loans in a country that treats companies as people so they can pour unlimited money into politicians to make laws for said companies, I mean yeah. This system is setup to transfer the wealth of the public into private hands.

  67. The idea that the government represents the people and serves their greater interests is definitely a long dead fever dream.

  68. Seems like most people here didn’t read the article since the comments seem to assume liberal motive to the answers but it’s actually more Republicans that were answering they don’t believe it’s a democracy anymore. That should be more concerning because we know what Republicans are trying to do to replace the government we do have and it won’t be a fucking democracy.

  69. Many older Americans think this way too. It is clear that Mammon is our God (not that I am religious, but the description works) and that nothing else matters other than the accumulation of resources.

  70. Of course we are in trouble when the minority can block what the majority want or in many cases pass things that go against the majority.

  71. The US, high on Cold War victory euphoria had not changed with the rest of the wold, as most of the people in the government are still in power from the time of Cold War, meanwhile the rest of the world has moved on. SAD.

  72. In 2016, Donald Trump got 3 million less votes and still won. The candidate who got less votes won the election. That’s not a democracy. We need to fix our shit.

  73. This should motivate young Americans to get directly involved with politics, young people will outnumber old people as time goes on. We as smart young Americans have to get jobs linked to politics ,we have to send the message that intelligent people with common sense and a heart are motivated to set things straight. /At this point I’m kind of rambling on but I think politics has been a complete joke. You can pull out certain things that happened throughout the years in the White House and so on that will outright make you laugh. Sometimes at work, while working hard , I think to myself who’s running everything and to be honest I think it’s just a back and forth struggle. Some people have it better than others I guess. Bye.

  74. Most definitely. What's really annoying is the fact that the older generations that have contributed to it don't want to do a damn thing about it because it would hurt their investments. They have such a stranglehold on this country via wealth and hoarding positions of power.

  75. Absolutely no question in my mind and I don't think many Democrats even understand that. And many Republicans are too infuatuated by notions of radicalism and are unwilling to compromise in any meaningful way.

  76. But not for reasons Reddit thinks. Want to shit on conservatives. The reason our democracy is in trouble is because the whole system has been captured by Big Business.

  77. I feel like America is as it was intended to be. A land where rich people with power and weapons control the masses. You can’t reform a nation that was never just to begin with, IMO.

  78. I hate to say this but a great deal of those younger people didnt come out to vote. This is anecdotal and its from before the shelter in place went into effect but, A lot of the students said they didnt vote adding that they should but they wont.

  79. It’s failed, I don’t have faith in the system to right it self. Both sides are too corrupt to actually work for the people and not there own interests. The geriatrics won’t leave office because they enjoy the power trip. Congress should have a term limit and age limit. I don’t want 70-80 year olds writing laws on things they cannot comprehend. My bad I mean pass laws written by corporations for corporations

  80. Republicans are to blame. We can say both sides, blah blah, but democrats have remained a normal traditional political party while shit ass republicans have gone full fucking fact-free traitor racist authoritarian piece of shit.

  81. To the degree that democracy is failing/has failed, I agree Republicans are to blame. From the perspective of surveys like this though, I wouldn't be surprised if many who responded that democracy has failed feel that way because they believe the election was stolen from Trump.

  82. The Republicans are definitely way worse but Democrats have done their fair share. Clinton gutted our safety net and deregulated Wall St, Democrats voted overwhelmingly to go into Iraq and Afghanistan and for the Patriot Act as well. And then there's all the campaign finance shit, like, special interests own pretty much every politician on both sides.

  83. I surprised it is not more. Republicans have won the popular vote once since 1992 and yet somehow have a clear majority on the supreme court. Democratic Senators represent 40 million more voters than republicans and still only have the slimmest of majority. Gerrymandering has already decided the midterms in 2022. Democracy in the USA is clearly broken.

  84. What? You mean when a bunch of old rich white dudes get to make the rules, break the rules, be their own jury and judge, and have zero accountability, the country as a whole suffers?

  85. As the minority party and the minority of Americans actively re-litigate settled law - sounds like the youth are just paying attention..

  86. Stop re-electing the same elite politicians over and over again. Just because someone’s a trust fund baby from Harvard does not mean they will govern with your best interests.

  87. Well no shit. There are Republican politicians more worried about unemployment for anti vaxxers and dems destroying bills because they either don’t benefit from them financially or are being paid to do so by corp (from my understanding of sinema and manchin situation). Nobody actually gives a shit about the people anymore and honestly it will take younger to get out and vote. Not many jobs will hire elderly to work, but we got people who are 80+ in our system holding onto old values.

  88. Then get out there and vote more. Get involved in your local elections and primary elections. Democracy is only as good as the people make it. The American citizens can’t sit here and say this when anytime you ask them about it the last 40 years almost every reply is some version of “I hate politics”…well in our system if you ignore it and don’t pay attention to the people being elected and turn a blind eye to it all; no wonder it’s turned to shit.

  89. In before some jackass comments "but we're a republic not a democracy". If they haven't already.

  90. Democracy hasn’t “failed” and the 2020 election proves it. The person who the people voted for won. It proved that democracy still works and it’s still alive. Is it in trouble? For sure, but it had been in trouble before. Jim Crow, the civil war, and many other events or periods in US history all endangered democracy but at the end, America made it out.

  91. sadly to those that watch fox news and believe the big lie, the fact that democracy actually did prevail in 2020 ironically means it failed... for some reason they thought that a president who was underwater his whole term, lost the popular vote, who twiddle his thumbs during a pandemic that killed half a million americans at the time, who seriously speculated that injecting clorox could solve the crisis, who never ever tried to actually expand his base, and instead shrank his base, could win an election is mind boggling...

  92. And they are spot on, our democracy is dominated by special/corporate interests and partisanship. Our political leaders hold power that is concentrated into too few.

  93. The unbreakable bipartisanship is already a failed democracy. That's pretty much a historical fact. Now even that is in trouble..

  94. It will fail. Roe v. Wade is about to fall and this country will quickly begin backsliding (UNDER DEMOCRATIC RULE) into a theocratic hellscape.

  95. Joe Biden and congress does not care about any of us. The next president Joe, a Dem or not will not care about the people. Why should they, when they get paid to look away. We are most definitely screwed....

  96. What a shocker, it’s not like we were watching in real time the “checks and balances” we were taught in school fail miserably during the trump presidency

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