What are the main challenges facing democracy today?
There are a number of challenges facing democracy but chief among them is the increasing disconnect between leaders and the people they serve, creating a crisis of confidence in the system. Some of it is because they’re literally disconnected from everyday American’s issues, some of it is a willing ignorance, but much of it is systemic and the vast majority of it is due to one party’s embrace of a “we can only win if we rig the game” mentality.
State legislatures making it harder to vote, gerrymandering districts, strict punishments that deter voters, and policies and laws that allow the people who were elected to decide who wins, or at least put their thumb on the scales for who wins, in the next election regardless of who voters actually want, these all make it harder for democracy to do what it is supposed to do: keep the powerful in check and ensure they work for the betterment of all Americans, not just the select few they like. The courts are stacked and underfilled, the senate is paralyzed by arcane laws that allow senators to never have to take stands on issues or do anything substantive, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to actually use the ballot box to tell officials we do or don’t like their policy choices and to remove people who abuse their power or worse. It’s only going to get worse and that scares me. We shouldn’t have a system that scares people.