According to a new poll from the Democracy Project two out of three Americans believe that democracy is getting weaker in America. The poll also confirmed that a vast majority of Americans consider it very important to live in a democracy,
Republicans were evenly divided on whether or not democracy in the U.S. is getting stronger or weaker. Fully 47 percent said they see American democracy as “getting stronger,” but 45 percent believe it is not getting stronger, but is getting weaker.
On the other hand, 79% of Democrats said American democracy is “getting weaker,” and only 16 percent said it is “getting stronger.”
This is one more example of the great partisan divide which afflicts the current American political landscape. It may illustrate the point that members of a party in power have a different view of democracy than the party that is not in power.
Regardless of party affiliation, the majority of Americans (55 percent) now say that American democracy as “weak.” But more disturbingly, 50 percent agreed with the statement that the United States “is in real danger of becoming a nondemocratic, authoritarian country.”
Over three-fourths of respondents said that “the laws enacted by our national government these days mostly reflect what powerful special interests and their lobbyists want.” This indicates that most Americans are truly fed up with the excessive role of money in politics.
On the other hand, 71% said they are in favor of the U.S. government working to support human rights and democracy in other countries.
The bipartisan poll was published Tuesday and was undertaken jointly by the George W. Bush Institute, the University of Pennsylvania’s Biden Center and Freedom House, which tracks the vitality of democracies around the world.
The three groups working together created the Democracy Project in order to monitor the health of the American political system.
“We hope this work can be a step toward restoring faith in democracy and democratic institutions,” the group said in a statement.
“Americans are deeply worried about the health of their democracy and want to make it stronger,” said Michael Abramowitz, the president of Freedom House. “There appears to be a crisis in confidence in the functioning of our democracy, and it is not a party-line issue.”
Former vice president Joe Biden, who oversees the Biden Center, said the results show “we can’t take our freedoms for granted—we have to work for them, and we have to defend them.”
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.