The Definition of [DEMOCRACY] according to @Merriam Webster is this; A government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.
Government by the people especially: rule of the
Democracy, as a concept has faced challenges by some who view it as a zero-sum game. They see it’s unsteady and irregular progress as a sign that its failings are a testament to it impracticality if not it’s lack of existence.
In fact, many in parts of the world ruled by autocratic regimes have argued that Democracy does not and cannot work.
Writing for [quora.com] in an Article titled; Why do so many people say that democracy won’t work for China, or that it only works for Western countries, Christian Kober
writes. “ Democracy requires sound institutions and some fundamental shared beliefs. If, for example, the military sees itself as ‘above the law’, democracy will stand on very feeble feet.”
In an opinion piece titled [Columbia, proof that democracy doesn’t work] written for the New York Times Martín Caparrós wrote;
“The mechanism of representation doesn’t work. Democracy is in trouble. And not only in Colombia, of course. Voting, to which so many aspired for so long, has become a burden or has been forgotten by so many. There are reasons for this, but there’s a factor that confounds all of them: Those who elect not to elect, do so because they don’t think they are actually electing anything.
Then they wash their hands of the matter and accept, for a while, being left out. But inevitably, little by little, they will start looking for ways in which they can exert influence. From what we see, democracy is not one of those ways”.
If the concept, as explained by @Merriam Webster is the pure explanation of the very concept to which we ought to subscribe when we think of democracy the question then becomes, have we ever had democracy?
If the concept of Democracy is a Government by the people especially: rule of the majority, then it leaves precious little to the imagination.
Ask Al Gore and Hillary Clinton whether they agree with the concept of a Democracy in which they both got exponentially more votes than their opponents and ended up being the loser.
Ask the African-Americans who have struggled for the right to vote, being lynched, shot and seen their property burned to the ground simply because they dared to want to exercise their right to vote
It is 2018 and all across the world’s oldest democracy[sic] in state after state, Georgia, Wisconsin, Texas, North Dakota and places in between forces opposed to the pure concept of a democratic nation have erected barriers in the path of some voters who would vote against the candidates they support.
In North Dakota, entire Indian Tribes living on reservations are being prevented from voting as a result of onerous and uncalled for state laws imposed by Republicans as a means of preventing native tribes from voting.
A major voting hurdle for Native Americans in North Dakota used to be thought of as a kind of force of nature, sort of like gravity or sunshine: Indian reservations didn’t have named, numbered streets. And without these designations on the tribal IDs that Natives carry, they couldn’t vote in the state.
If you are a dyed in the wool believer in the concept of good over evil, right over might, and democracy over dictatorship then you are imagining that the State Appellate court upheld the lower court’s ruling which sided with the tribes.
You would also imagine that the United States Supreme Courts would side with the disenfranchised native tribes.
If you did any of that you would be wrong.
According to [inthesetimes.com]
There was no way around the problem. No residential address on tribal IDs meant no ballot box access for Native people—unless they were willing to undertake prohibitively long and costly drives and other hurdles to get an alternate ID. “It is a voter-suppression technique North Dakota targets at its Native population,” accuses OJ Semans, the Rosebud Sioux co-director of Four Directions civil rights group.
If you took the path of precedent and considered what has happened to both the Native and African-American people in America and decided that neither the Appellate court nor the Supreme Court sided with the aggrieved parties you would be right.
There is the democracy for you.
So a purist concept of Democracy may be best defined as a work in progress, maybe best defined by the Nation’s 44th President Barack Obama ” We waged a Civil War. We overcame depression. We’ve lurched from eras of great progressive change to periods of retrenchment“.
We are in one of those terrible periods of retrenchment, a dismal dark place when compared to Ronald Reagan’s mythical “shining city on a hill”.
If we have not arrived at the place envisioned by the founding fathers where all people are treated equally, is there such a thing as democracy yet?
“Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men.”
― John Adams