A discussion of democracy in America would be incomplete without a consideration of its origins and its subsequent evolution. The concept of democracy has roots in the ideas of the Romans, Celts, and Teutonics. The evolution of democracy in the United States is the result of a series of political adjustments. These adjustments entail a balancing act between the interests of men and women. Benjamin Franklin often refers to this aspect as the other half of the apple: civil discord and political adjustment.
In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville, a French political theorist and sociologist, visited the United States to study the American prison system. He returned to France with a wealth of observations about the country and wrote Democracy in America in 1835. This influential book on American democracy focuses on equality and the power of citizens. Though it was widely hailed at its initial publication, the book eventually faded into obscurity.
Democracies often fail to last when the military sides with insurgents. The United States, however, has a strong tradition of civilian control of the armed forces. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, and other top military leaders reaffirmed this tradition and its importance. In addition, officers learn about this tradition throughout their careers. So a successful democracy has checks and balances in place to protect citizens from corrupt and subversive leaders.
Democracies have different definitions of democracy. One is a sovereign independent democracy while the other is a confederate democracy. A sovereign independent nation has a unified government, while confederate nations are divided into states. In a confederate nation, preponderant power lies with the state governments. In either case, the nation suffers from a civil war disguised as a political protest. If democracy in America is the goal, then it’s time for the democratization of the American people.