I have to remember people that democracy has once elected bad people too. Hitler was democratically elected. He just used the people's anger and hate to get elected. This kind of tampering with people's feelings can happen again in any democracy.
I agree, and I believe that America, in some ways, is moving toward this, but whether we would elect someone on the basis of anger and hate is iffy (I surely hope we don't).
Look at the current Presidential campaign: Many of the Democratic presidential candidates are running on a hatred for Bush. There are some issue-based complaints, but for the most part they're running on a platform of hatred. (And I know, many of you disagree with my analysis).
This has been tried before, the most notable instance being Bob Dole running against President Clinton. Senator Dole tried and failed to be elected, because he was running on a platform of hatred.
elected on a platform of hatred because the people were starving. In the aftermath of WWI, Germany's reparations payments crippled their economy, and the subsequent depression made it even worse. If Germany's economy had not been in such ruins, it is possible
that Hitler woule not have been elected (though there is no way of knowing for sure). Hitler gave them someone to blame for their troubles, and they went for it.
Today in America, however, I don't know how possible it is that the people would elect someone on a platform of hatred. Many of the current candidates are transparently power-hungry; they see that many people disagree with President Bush, and they work to turn that disagreement into hatred, without offering a true positive alternative. It would be a mistake for America to elect most of these candidates, as their policies will move our country closer and closer to socialism, which is a stepping-stone toward communism.
And when it comes to communism, I'm inclined to agree with SkinWalker - it may work in smaller countries, but it just can't work in one as large as the US.
I normally do not like the notion that the Greek had it all figured out. Primus, because it was still only the nobility who had any real influence. Secundus, because "Greece", in the classical era, means "Athens". Take a look at Sparta, and you'll se a quite different picture.
I agree - we do give the Greeks (or rather, the Athenians) a bit too much credit. They had a great idea in democracy, but they limited it to a fault.
However, it was the Greek notion of Democracy that our democratic system in the US is loosely based on - our Founding Fathers had studied Greece, and sought to modify the Greek system (and even they didn't get it right at first).
Our Founding Fathers had also studied Rome, and they understood that in order to avoid a fall similer to that of the Roman Empire, two things were necessary: morality and education. (there are more than just these two, but these are the biggies).
First, we must have morals in order to allow our free way of life to continue. Without them, we become a society where anything goes. Moral codes have no meaning, and neither do our government's laws (which are based, for the most part, on moral codes). Governmental anarchy springs from moral anarchy.
Second, we must be educated on current issues. This education, combined with our understanding of moral values, will allow us to vote responsibly, and keep us from allowing the wrong person to take power.
So, is democracy dying? In a way, yes. It is easy to see the decline in moral values taking place in America's society today. Just take this year's Superbowl half-time show and imagine it being shown during the 1950s. Or even the 1980s. Or even 1990. Moral values in America have been degenerating for quite some time, and unless the people of America realize the importance of morals, disaster will result.
Likewise, voter education is declining. Many people simply don't care anymore - the way they see it, all politicians are corrupt, and nothing they do will change the way the government is being run. What's more, these people are mainly middle-of-the-road when it comes to liberal or conservative, and when they cease to educate themselves on the issues, and cease to vote, they leave our nation in the hands of the right- and left-wing extremist minority.