--- Terminology or Vocabulary ---
Autocratization: Democratic backsliding is a process of regime change towards autocracy that makes the exercise of political power by the public more arbitrary and repressive. This process typically restricts the space for public contestation and political participation in the process of government selection. Democratic decline involves the weakening of democratic institutions, such as the peaceful transition of power or free and fair elections, or the violation of individual rights that underpin democracies, especially freedom of expression. (Wikipedia excerpt 2023)
Types of Governmental Democracies: Democracy has taken a number of forms, both in theory and practice. Some varieties of democracy provide better representation and more freedom for their citizens than others.However, if any democracy is not structured to prohibit the government from excluding the people from the legislative process, or any branch of government from altering the separation of powers in its favour, then a branch of the system can accumulate too much power and destroy the democracy. (Wikipedia excerpt 2023)
Representative Democracy: Representative democracy places power in the hands of representatives who are elected by the people. Political parties often become central to this form of democracy if electoral systems require or encourage voters to vote for political parties or for candidates associated with political parties (as opposed to voting for individual representatives). Some political theorists (including Robert Dahl, Gregory Houston, and Ian Liebenberg) have described representative democracy as polyarchy. (Wikipedia excerpt 2023)
Republic: The term republic has many different meanings, but today often refers to a representative democracy with an elected head of state, such as a president, serving for a limited term, in contrast to states with a hereditary monarch as a head of state, even if these states also are representative democracies with an elected or appointed head of government such as a prime minister.
The Founding Fathers of the United States often criticised direct democracy, which in their view often came without the protection of a constitution enshrining inalienable rights; James Madison argued, especially in The Federalist No. 10, that what distinguished a direct democracy from a republic was that the former became weaker as it got larger and suffered more violently from the effects of faction, whereas a republic could get stronger as it got larger and combats faction by its very structure.
"The principles of republican government embedded in the Constitution represent an effort by the framers to ensure that the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness would not be trampled by majorities." What was critical to American values, John Adams insisted, was that the government be "bound by fixed laws, which the people have a voice in making, and a right to defend."
As Benjamin Franklin was exiting after writing the U.S. constitution, Elizabeth Willing Powel asked him "Well, Doctor, what have we got—a republic or a monarchy?". He replied "A republic—if you can keep it." (Wikipedia excerpt 2023)
--- The Organization of U. S. Government ---
Branches of the U.S. Government - Learn about the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the U.S. government. (USA.gov)
---Points of View ---
Corporate personhood or juridical personality is the legal notion that a juridical person such as a corporation, separately from its associated human beings (like owners, managers, or employees), has at least some of the legal rights and responsibilities enjoyed by natural persons. In most countries, a corporation has the same rights as a natural person to hold property, enter into contracts, and to sue or be sued. Granting non-human entities personhood is a Western concept applied to corporations. (Wikipedia excerpt 2023)
PAC: In the United States, a political action committee (PAC) is a tax-exempt 527 organization that pools campaign contributions from members and donates those funds to campaigns for or against candidates, ballot initiatives, or legislation. (Wikipedia excerpt 2023)
The separation of church and state is a philosophical and jurisprudential concept for defining political distance in the relationship between religious organizations and the state. Conceptually, the term refers to the creation of a secular state (with or without legally explicit church-state separation) and to disestablishment, the changing of an existing, formal relationship between the church and the state. Although the concept is older, the exact phrase "separation of church and state" is derived from "wall of separation between church and state", a term coined by Thomas Jefferson. The concept was promoted by Enlightenment philosophers such as John Locke. (Wikipedia excerpt 2023)
---- Individual Civil Rights ---
After 50 years of lobbying and protesting....Women's legal right to vote was established in the United States, first in various states and localities, sometimes on a limited basis, and then nationally in the Nineteenth Amendment of 1920. (Wikipedia excerpt 2023)
De jure (legal) segregation was outlawed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. In specific areas, however, segregation was barred earlier by the Warren Court in decisions such as the Brown v. Board of Education decision that overturned school segregation in the United States. De facto segregation continues today in areas such as residential segregation and school segregation because of both contemporary behavior and the historical legacy of de jure segregation. (Wikipedia excerpt 2023)
Homelessness in the United States - the number of homeless people on a given night in January 2022 was 582,462 according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Annual federal HUD reports contradict private state and local reports. In 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Committee criticized the United States for the criminalization of homelessness, noting that such "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" is in violation of international human rights treaty obligations. (Wikipedia excerpt 2023)
Poverty in the United States - In the United States, poverty has both social and political implications. In 2020, there were 37.2 million people in poverty. Some of the many causes include income inequality,[needs update] inflation, unemployment, debt traps and poor education.[needs update] The majority of adults living in poverty are employed and have at least a high school education. (Wikipedia excerpt 2023)
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