Biden must focus on reforming the American political system


US President Joe Biden speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, the United States, December 5, 2021. / Getty

US President Joe Biden speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, the United States, December 5, 2021. / Getty

Editor’s Note: Azhar Azam works in a private organization as “Market & Business Analysts” and writes on geopolitical issues and regional conflicts. The article reflects the views of the author, and not necessarily those of CGTN.

A Cambridge University report that covered 154 countries and combined more than 25 data sources, 3,500 national surveys and four million respondents between 1973 and 2020, caused brutal trauma to advanced economies that championed democracy as a solution definitive to all economic, political problems. and social problem.

The largest dataset ever created on global attitudes found that democracy was in a “state of unease” as the proportion of people “dissatisfied” with democracy had increased dramatically from 47.9% in the midst of 90s at 57.5% in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas. Citizens of many major democracies, including Australia, the UK and the US, have shown their “highest ever” level of discontent with so-called egalitarian politics.

Prior to the virtual “Democracy Summit” on December 9-10, “very few” thought American democracy was a good model for the rest of the world to follow. After the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, Americans and the international community suspected that the Western form of democracy set a good example and viewed racial or ethnic discrimination as worse in the United States than in other parts of the United States. world.

Unsurprisingly, the United States is now described as a “backward” democracy and “victim of authoritarian tendencies” following a significant weakening of controls over government and civil liberties. Several factors such as a contested presidential election, the passage of restrictive election laws and the Jan.6 invasion of the Capitol in Washington revealed serious flaws in the American democratic system and called into question the legitimacy of Joe Biden to host a debate on democracy.

Supporters of then-US President Donald Trump during a riot inside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, United States, January 6, 2021. / Getty

Supporters of then-US President Donald Trump during a riot inside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, United States, January 6, 2021. / Getty

It is no wonder that due to political divisions in the country, the Western political model is gradually losing its luster inside and outside America. The President’s campaign for democracy therefore sounds more to save America’s deteriorated confidence in the American political system than to counter “autocracies” elsewhere.

Since 1981, the country’s government has shut down 14 times as two major rival political parties continue to fight tooth and nail for funding for hundreds of federal agencies.

Nonetheless, there have been a number of instances where US politicians, after being stuck in bitter partisanship, have come to a bipartisan consensus to protect their duopoly in an “irrational and dysfunctional” political structure, according to the magazine, harvard business review. That’s what happened last month after Democrats and Republicans acted together to pass a $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill.

The oligarchic political arrangement in the United States comprising four traditions – characterized as the theories of majority electoral democracy, economic-elite domination, and two types of interest group pluralism, majority pluralism and biased pluralism – has been brought under control. by powerful business organizations, revealing America is a democratic republic in name only.

The growing influence of economic elites and organized groups, one of the main drivers of polarization, denies the role of the average citizen in policymaking and uses the system to consolidate wealth by seeking tax breaks and blocking redistribution policies. If some question the interests of big companies, they will lose the support of the latter during the elections. With members of Congress being agents of big business, Americans shouldn’t expect their representatives to deliver results.

Ever since the concept of a “coalition of democracies” was launched last November, world leaders have questioned the success of the “cold war-type” alliance against China. Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was one of those who categorically rejected Biden’s idea, noting that few countries would be interested in this type of approach.

Singapore’s Prime Minister called Donald Trump’s era a “tumultuous turn” and saw his “America First” and “Make America Great Again” as a “narrow definition” of historic US interests abroad . Following the American “judgment”, the city-state as well as Thailand and Vietnam in Southeast Asia were not invited to the event, which could complicate the American Indo-Pacific strategy in the coming years. month.

At a time when the world faces so many challenges and sorely needs global economic and health cooperation, observers highlight the controversy over voting rights, the US president’s struggle to manage election chaos; and Americans’ mistrust of national democratic institutions. Biden’s high framing from the top to position the United States as a world democratic leader and his mistaken focus on ideological differences cannot satisfy his nation; it would further divide the international world and undermine universal cooperation.

The summit takes a back seat in Europe, where the countries of the region are organizing from December 10 to 12 a citizens’ conference on the future of Europe on a wider range of subjects, including climate change, health, economy, employment and digital transformation. As critics in South Asia call on the United States to close its democratic deficits before preaching democratic values, some Latin American leaders are excluded from the meeting due to the region’s strong economic ties with China.

Biden should not define geopolitics as a clash between “autocracy and democracy” to divide the world with an ideological approach for fear of China’s growing economic might. China has its own democratic model, which, unlike the United States, allows people to actively participate in the development of the country. While pragmatic, goal-oriented Chinese policy emphasizes cooperation among civilizations, Biden will not be able to build a coalition against China and will have to reform the American political system to make it friendly to Americans.

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