Democracy In USA United States of America has a representative democracy. It implies that the government is elected by citizens of the USA. The citizens have the right to vote for the government candidates. These candidates represent people and their ideas and concerns of the constituency through which they are being elected. People can contact the winning candidates whom they have voted in case they are supporting or changing a law. Therefore voting and contacting the elected candidates are two ways by which Americans can participate in a Democracy.
Democratic Rights of U.S Citizens provided by Constitution of USA.
The US citizens are blessed with a progressive government system that gives equal rights to every citizen. These citizens are given certain freedom and rights by the Highest Law i.e., the Constitution of the United States.
The constitution promises 10 amendments of articles collectively known as the Bill of rights. Every Federal or court decision must abide by and respect the Constitution.
Let's have a look at these Rights enjoyed by each U.S citizen.
Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression
This Right is covered in the First article. According to this every US citizen can voice their opinion and can express themselves freely. It prohibits the government to establish or promote a particular religion over others, giving the right to freedom of religious practices or the right to gather peacefully.
The First Amendment does not allow suppression of media or free speech. This very first Amendment does not allow protection against obscenity, child pornography, fighting words, etc.
But some speeches are not protected by First Amendment like obscenity, child pornography, fighting words, among others.
Right to a Fair Trial
Every citizen is entitled to a free trial at every level of court in the USA. Amendment 6 Rights of accused Persons in Criminal case ensure free trial at every court level at a speedy and fair public trial. This law holds everyone innocent until proven guilty. The accused is entitled to facilities and time to defend themselves through legal assistance.
Right to Free and Unperturbed Media
The US citizens have the right to access transparent and informative media. Democracy functions well when people are well informed, not misinformed. Newspapers, News channels radio stations, and the Internet mainly social media prohibit anyone from suppressing free speech in Media unless it is categorized as not protected by the first amendment. US citizens have free access to all news and media outlets.
Right of Vote freely in Open Elections
Voting eligibility in the US is governed by Constitution and state laws. According to 26th Amendment, every US citizen above 18 years can vote. At the federal level, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits voter discrimination. Voting rights are protected in the USA by the following acts too: -
Voting ease for old and handicapped voters act of 1984.
Overseas Citizen Absentee Voting Act.
National Voter Registration Act (NVRA)
Help America Vote Act (HAVA)
Article 1 of the Constitution makes the state a WatchGuard for election. The state issues voter cards to encourage voting.
Right to Religious worship in separate settings.
In the USA no one is prohibited from practicing their religion. The first amendment that protects freedom of speech also protects the religion of your choice, or you are free to follow your religion or no religion at all. The first article prevents the imposition of or establishing beliefs or rituals forcibly on US citizens.
Immigration Rights of Green Card Holders
Immigrants fulfilling the visa requirements can wish to get naturalized and avail US citizenship.
Basic rights granted exclusive to green card holders are.
Right To Live Permanently in the US
Green card holders enjoy the same benefits as offered to other U.S citizens if they comply with Citizenship clauses. The violation of these clauses can lead to removal from the USA.
Right To Legally Work in the US
The constitution ensures no discrimination against race, gender, or history. One can work in the USA against some unreserved jobs. One can move freely in the USA without restrictions.
Right To Be Protected by US Laws
Green Card Holders is protected by laws established by federal, state, and social levels in the USA.
Recent developments in Democratic Laws in the United States of America.
Americans advocate significant changes in the Fundamental design and structure of the American government.
Americans have negative thoughts about the political system prevalent in America. The Democrats in America are mistrustful nowadays since they are moving away from their democratic values. Americans are rating political systems negatively on several key points since democrats are drifting from democratic principles and ideals.
In a democracy large majorities of Americans agree on the importance of democratic principles that include the rights and freedoms of all the people must be respected. American democracy grants equal opportunity to everyone to succeed. Elected democrats will face serious consequences for misconduct but they are neglected for their misconduct since the president have to remain in power with their support.
Recently the democracy In the United States is witnessing a clear gap between the Americans who believe these principles are important and those who think the U.S is doing well by following these principles. Few Americans believe these principles very important including the freedom to peaceful protest.
Very a few months ago U.S citizens examined public views about several democratic ideals and principles that also include the freedom to peaceful protest. It was not designed for specific events encompassing current protests against police violence in several cities. Recently killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers witnessed very different opinions on the demonstrations to protect Floyd’s death.
The USA is witnessing a new low in the global ranking of political rights and civil liberties evident by unequal treatment of minorities, the damaging share of money in politics, and increased polarization in voting.
Democratic values of freedom and rights in the USA are at par with countries like Panama, Romania, and Croatia and at a level with countries like Argentina and Mongolia. The USA earned 83 points in freedom and rights for its citizens this year. In ratings, the USA is far lagging behind countries like the United Kingdom, Chile, Costa Rica, and Slovakia.
The minority groups especially Black people and Native Americans face inequalities in criminal justice and voting rights. It is being evident that public trust in government is damaged due to rich Americans who use their money to exert influence on American politics.
Radical support gathered by fraudulent means had contributed to polarization in the U.S that is threatening its democratic foundations, some claims suggest that fraudulently gathered support for political advantage is most threatening to democratic values in the United States of America.
American democracy can be improved by
Removing barriers to Voting.
Limiting the use of Money to gather fraudulent support in US politics.
Establishment of Redistricting commissions.
Democrats are favoring the above three recommendations in U.S Senate.
It is a wake-up call for saving democracy in the U.S and restricting further deterioration of its democratic values.
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