chapter  1
20 Pages

One Nation: Divided or United?

WE LIVE IN AN ERA of democratic contradiction. As theCold War recedes further into history and the apparenttriumph of liberal democracy spreads around the globe, the domestic state of democracy within the United States continues to erode. Rather than a nation where citizens feel empowered in their common governance, the United States has become a land where the vast majority of citizens hates its leaders yet rarely votes. Massive antiincumbency sentiments and resentment toward representative government parallel the rise of grassroots militia movements and media demagogues. Clearly, something has gone wrong with democracy in the United States-or more precisely with the way democracy is understood and exercised. Why else would so many people respond so strongly to promises to “change” the way Washington works?