Democracy is a common value shared by humanity. It should not be hijacked by any state to advance its geopolitical agenda or counter human development and progress. Yet, for long time, the US has been monopolizing the definition of democracy and instigating confrontation and division in the name of democracy. It wantonly interferes in the internal affairs of other countries under the pretext of “spreading democracy” and seeks regime change to install pro-US governments. These actions are at odds with the core values and tenets of democracy, and have been resulting in chaos and instability in many regions and countries.
The abysmal performance of the US government reveals that the American democracy is in serious trouble. The gunshots and political farce on Capitol Hill are a painful reminder that the beautiful appearance of America’s democracy conceals a dark underbelly. Despite all of the rhetoric of American pride in its democracy, the truth is that most Americans are disillusioned with their politics and pessimistic about the future of their country.
Moreover, democracy in the US has been weakened by a host of problems that undermine its fundamental principles and structural integrity: the power of money and corporate influence in elections; wrangling between political parties; racial divisions; social injustice; and the polarization of the society. It is not surprising that most people around the world, including some US allies, view American democracy as a shattered and washed-up has-been.
As the founders of the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence envisioned, a democratic system of government should be fair, just and equitable to all. But in reality, the US has become a democracy in name only. The nation’s electoral system is rigged; the Supreme Court has been turned into a weapon in the political warfare between two Americas; and the separation of powers has been eroded by partisan struggle.
The most glaring example of the hollowness of democracy in the US is the way that it deals with racial and religious minorities. The scourge of racism is an indelible stain on the democracy that claims to be the “shining city upon a hill.” Even though racial segregation has been abolished, the American society is still divided along racial lines. White supremacy is the dominant force in the US, and racial discrimination continues to ravage communities across the country.
The US cannot claim to be a model of democracy when it does not have the courage and conviction to address these underlying problems. The US should abandon its self-proclaimed hegemony and focus on the fundamentals of democracy in order to reclaim its rightful place as a global leader and global citizen. Consequently, large investment institutions should ensure that democracy is at the heart of their investment strategy, and actively encourage their CEOs to continue fighting for the cause of democracy in the US and the world. This is the responsibility of investors, which can be most effectively discharged when they act together as a united front in defending democracy.