American Democracy

contents

  Preface

1. What is democracy

2. The Alienation and Triple Harm of American Democracy

(1) Systematic ills are hard to return

  1. American democracy is reduced to "money politics"

  2. The name "one person, one vote" is actually "ruled by a few elites"

  3. Checks and balances of power become "veto politics"

  4. Defects in election rules damage fairness and justice

  5. The failure of the democratic system triggers a crisis of trust

(2) The practice of democracy is chaotic

  1. Congressional riots shocked the world

  2. Racial discrimination is deeply rooted

  3. Out-of-control epidemic causes tragedy

  4. The gap between the rich and the poor continues to increase

  5. "Freedom of speech" is misleading

(3) Exporting the so-called democracy produces evil results

  1. The "color revolution" endangers regional and national stability

  2. Forcing the so-called democracy to cause a humanitarian tragedy

  3. Misuse of sanctions to undermine international rules

  4. The "Democracy Beacon" drew global criticism

Concluding remarks

Preface

  Democracy is the common value of all mankind, and it is the right of the people of all countries, not the patent of any country.

There are many ways to achieve democracy, and they cannot be the same.

It is undemocratic in itself to measure the colorful political systems of the world with a single ruler, and to examine the colorful political civilization of mankind with a monotonous eye.

The political system of each country should be independently determined by the people of that country.

  The American democratic system is the result of practice in the United States alone. It is unique, not universal, and far from perfect.

However, for a long time, the United States has ignored the structural defects of its own democratic system and the insufficiency of domestic democratic practices. It has called itself a "democratic model" and frequently interfered in other countries' internal affairs and launched foreign wars under the banner of democracy, causing regional turmoil and humanitarian disasters. .

  This report aims to sort out the shortcomings of the American democratic system by listing facts and expert opinions, analyze the chaos of domestic democratic practice and the harm of exporting democracy in the United States, and hope that the United States will improve its own democratic system and practice and change its course externally.

This benefits both the American people and the people of the world.

If no country tries to monopolize democratic standards, no country tries to impose its own political system on others, no country tries to use democracy as a tool to suppress other countries, and each country has its own beauty and the beauty of it, the world will be a better place.

1. What is democracy

  The word democracy is derived from ancient Greek, which means "rule by the people" and "sovereignty in the people".

As a form of government, democracy has a history of more than 2500 years, covering various forms from the direct democratic government of ancient Athenian citizens to modern representative government. It is the result of the development of human political civilization.

  Democracy is not an ornament or propaganda, but it is used to solve the problems that the people need to solve.

The key to whether a country is democratic or not is whether it truly achieves that the people are the masters of the country.

It depends on whether the people have the right to vote, and even more so on whether the people have the right to participate widely; it depends on what verbal promises the people get in the election, but also how much these promises have been fulfilled after the election; it depends on what the system and laws stipulate The political procedures and political rules of the People’s Republic of China depend more on whether these systems and laws are actually implemented; whether the rules and procedures of power operation are democratic, and even more whether the power is really subject to the supervision and restriction of the people.

  An effective democratic system must not only have complete system procedures, but also complete participation in practice, and be able to achieve process democracy and result democracy, procedural democracy and substantive democracy, direct and indirect democracy, people’s democracy and national will. Unify.

If the people are awakened only when they vote and enter the dormant period after voting, only by listening to the slogans during the election, and having no right to speak after the election, only being favored when canvassing votes, and being left out after the election, this kind of democracy is by no means true. Democracy.

  Whether a country is democratic or not should be judged by the people of the country, not by a few outsiders.

  No set of democratic systems in the world is perfect, and there is no political system model applicable to all countries.

The establishment of democratic systems and the development of democratic processes in all countries have their historical and national characteristics, and each has its own unique value.

The international community should conduct exchanges and dialogues on democracy issues on the basis of mutual respect and equal treatment, and jointly make greater contributions to the progress of all mankind.

2. The Alienation and Triple Harm of American Democracy

  Historically, the development of American democracy has its progressiveness. The party system, representative system, one person, one vote, and the separation of powers are the denial and innovation of European feudal autocracy.

Tocqueville, a famous French thinker, also gave positive comments on this in his book "On American Democracy."

The "Declaration of Independence", the "Bill of Rights", the abolitionist movement, the civil rights movement, and the affirmative movement have become bright spots in the American democratic process.

Lincoln's three principles of "the people have, the people rule, and the people enjoy" are even more popular.

  However, with the passage of time, the American democratic system has gradually alienated and transformed, and it has increasingly deviated from the core of the democratic system and the original intention of the system.

Problems such as money politics, identity politics, party antagonism, political polarization, social tearing, racial conflicts, and polarization between the rich and the poor have intensified, and the function of the democratic system has declined.

  The United States has also frequently interfered in the internal affairs of other countries in the name of democracy, causing political turmoil in regional countries and people’s livelihood, and undermining world peace and stability and social stability in all countries.

Many people in the United States and the world are asking, is the United States still a "democracy"?

The world needs to conduct an in-depth review of the democratic situation in the United States, and the United States itself needs to reflect on itself.

(1) Systematic ills are hard to return

  The United States has always called itself the "city on the hill" and the "beacon of democracy", boasting that it has designed a political system to protect democracy and freedom since its inception.

However, the idea of ​​democracy is indistinguishable from the United States today.

From money politics to elite domination, from political polarization to system failure, American democracy has been in a state of suffering.

1. American democracy is reduced to "money politics"

  American democracy is a "game for the rich" based on capital, which is fundamentally different from people's democracy.

  More than 100 years ago, U.S. Senator Mark Hanna, Republican of Ohio, described American politics like this: "In politics, there are two things that are very important. The first is money, and the second I don’t remember." More than 100 years later, I will look at it. , Money is still the "hard currency" of American politics, and its role is even more irreplaceable.

Take the 2020 US presidential and congressional elections as an example. The total expenditure in this election is as high as 14 billion U.S. dollars, which is twice as much as in 2016 and three times as much as in 2008. It is known as the "most money-burning election in history."

Among them, the presidential election spent another historical record, reaching 6.6 billion U.S. dollars; the congressional election spent more than 7 billion U.S. dollars.

  The fact that the American people have to face is that money politics runs through all the links of American elections, legislation, and governance, and in fact restricts the people’s right to participate in politics. The inequality of economic status has been transformed into inequality of political status. People with enough capital can enjoy the democratic rights stipulated in the Constitution.

Money politics has increasingly become a "cancer" that is difficult to eradicate in American society, and it has become a great irony of American democracy.

  A U.S. Senator pointedly pointed out: "Some people think that the U.S. Congress controls Wall Street, but the truth is that Wall Street controls the U.S. Congress."

According to statistics, 91% of the U.S. Congressional elections are won by candidates who have received the most funding. Large companies, a few wealthy people, and interest groups are more generous and become the main source of election funds.

After these so-called "public opinion representatives" are successfully elected, they often serve the funders behind them and become spokespersons for vested interests, rather than speaking out for ordinary people.

  In March 2020, Robert Lake, a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and former US Secretary of Labor, published the book "System: Who Controls It, How Do We Fix It".

The book believes that in the past 40 years, the political system of the United States has been manipulated by very few people.

Political contributions are almost regarded as "legal bribery", giving the rich a stronger political influence.

In the 2018 midterm elections, huge political contributions accounted for more than 40% of campaign funds, and these huge funds mainly came from the rich who accounted for 0.01% of the total population of the United States.

Money politics and lobbying groups are distorting the channels for ordinary Americans to speak out. The voices of most people expressing their true wishes have been overshadowed by minority interest groups.

These oligarchs use their power to enrich their wealth, while the interests of ordinary people are left behind.

  On September 23, 2020, Harvard Law School professor Matthew Stephenson said in an interview with "Harvard Law Today" that the United States is by no means a world leader in terms of integrity, and lobbying and political donations are considered corruption in other countries. , But it is not only allowed in the United States, but also protected by the Constitution and laws.

2. The name "one person, one vote" is actually "ruled by a few elites"

  The United States is a typical country dominated by elites. "Multiple politics" is just a superficial phenomenon. The elites control the political, economic, and military dominance, manipulate the state machinery, formulate rules and regulations, grasp the trend of public opinion, and dominate business. Companies, exercise various privileges, and so on.

Especially since the 1860s, the democratic and republican parties have taken turns to share state power, and the multi-party system has existed in name only.

Ordinary voters cast their votes for third-party or independent candidates, which is a waste of voting opportunities. They can only make either-or choice between candidates launched by the two parties.

  In the context of the "war between donkeys and elephants," the two parties have always restricted popular political participation to a narrow range.

For ordinary voters, the election is called upon and left after the election. Most people are just "extra actors" in the election game, and "rule by the people" is difficult to reflect in American political practice.

  Noam Chomsky, political critic and social activist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, pointed out that the United States is a "real capitalist democracy", and there is a positive correlation between the influence of Americans on policy making and their wealth level. About 70% of Americans have no influence on policy making. They are at a disadvantage in terms of income level and wealth, which is equivalent to being deprived of the right to participate in politics.

  In an article published in The Atlantic Monthly, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Jalalaja stated that the current democracy in the United States is only formal democracy, not substantive democracy.

The nationwide primaries for presidential elections are completely manipulated by wealthy people, celebrities, the media, and interest groups. Presidential candidates supported by popular votes often do not truly represent public opinion.

3. Checks and balances of power become "veto politics"

  The American political scientist Francis Fukuyama pointed out in his monograph "Political Order and Political Recession" that there is a deep-rooted political paralysis in the United States. There are too many checks and balances in the American political system, so that the cost of collective action has increased greatly, and sometimes it is even difficult to do so. .

This is a system that can be called a "veto system."

Since the 1980s, the "veto system" in the United States has become a "panacea" leading to a political deadlock.

  The American democratic process is fragmented and lengthy, with a large number of veto points, and individual veto actions can affect the system's actions. The so-called "checks and balances imply the ability to correct deviations" is increasingly distorted in practice.

The political polarization in the United States has intensified, the demands of the two parties are very different, the consensus has been constantly compressed, and even the extreme situation of "the freest Republicans are far more right than the most conservative Democrats" has appeared. Opposing restrictions have become commonplace, and "veto politics" has become a political ecology. , "I can't do it, I can't let you do it" has become a common practice.

  Politicians in Washington are concerned about preserving partisan interests, and the grand vision of national development has long been forgotten.

Vetoing opponents will strengthen their own camp identity, and the strengthening of their identity will quickly consolidate their own camp support. The two parties in the United States are obsessed with "veto" and fall into a vicious circle that is difficult to extricate themselves. The result will inevitably be weakened government efficiency and trampled on justice and the rule of law. , Development and progress have been delayed, and social divisions have been magnified.

In the United States today, "I am American" is gradually being replaced by "I am a Republican" and "I am a Democrat." The vicious transmission of "identity politics" and "tribal politics" to all levels of American society intensifies "veto politics."

  In October 2021, the U.S. think tank Pew Research Center conducted a survey of 17 advanced economies including the United States, Germany, and South Korea. The results showed that the United States is regarded as the most politically polarized country. There are serious disagreements among supporters. Nearly 60% of American interviewees believe that the people not only disagree on policy, but also find it difficult to reach a consensus on basic facts.

  Xu Zhengjian, a professor of political science at Kyung Hee University in South Korea, pointed out that the political polarization in the United States is becoming more and more intense.

The U.S. Senate has fallen into the trap of "lengthy debates" and cannot play its role as a representative body for legislation to respond to social changes.

4. Defects in election rules damage fairness and justice

  The U.S. presidential election follows the ancient Electoral College system. The President and Vice President are not directly elected by voters, but are decided by the Electoral College.

There are 538 electoral votes in the United States, and a candidate who wins more than half of the electoral votes (270 votes) is elected president.

The disadvantages of this electoral system are very obvious: First, the president-elect may not win the majority of popular votes and is underrepresented; second, the specific election rules are determined by each state, which is prone to chaos; third, the “winner takes all” system aggravates the status of each state. Inequality and unequal status of the parties have caused huge waste of votes and suppressed turnout. Voters in the Deep Blue and Deep Red States are often ignored. The swing states have gained relative asymmetric importance and become the target of the two parties.

  In the history of the United States, there have been five cases of winning the popular vote but losing the presidential election.

The most recent was that Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate in the 2016 general election, won more than 62.98 million popular votes, with a 45.9% vote rate.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won more than 65.85 million popular votes, with a 48% vote rate.

Although Trump lost the popular vote, he won 304 electoral votes. Hillary Clinton only won 227 electoral votes. Trump was elected president by the majority of electoral votes.

  Another major drawback of the electoral system recognized by the American people is the "Jelly Newt."

In 1812, the governor of Massachusetts, Jerry, in order to pursue the interests of his party, signed a bill to divide an electoral district in the state into an extremely irregular shape similar to a salamander.

This practice was later known as the "Jelly Newt", which refers to the unfair division of electoral districts to help the party win as many seats as possible and consolidate its dominant position.

The United States conducts a census every 10 years, and then re-divides electoral districts based on the principle of "approximately equal populations in all electoral districts" and combined with population changes.

The U.S. Constitution grants the power to delimit electoral districts to the legislatures of each state, and provides operating space for the state legislature majority party "Jerry Newt".

"Jerry Newt" mainly relies on two operations. One is "concentration", that is, as far as possible, the opposition party voters are divided into a few specific electoral districts, and these electoral districts are sacrificed in exchange for the absolute security of other electoral districts; Areas with relatively concentrated voters are split into different surrounding electoral districts, thereby diluting the votes of the opposition party.

  On September 27, 2021, the Democratic State of Oregon took the lead in completing the re-division of electoral districts in the United States. The electoral districts firmly controlled by the Democratic Party increased from the original 2 to 4, and the "swing electoral district" was reduced from 2 to 1. This means that the party can control 83% of the state's congressional districts with 57% of the actual voters.

On the contrary, the Republican-controlled Texas determined a new constituency division on October 25 this year. The tightly controlled constituency increased from 22 to 24, and the "swing constituency" was reduced from the original 6 to 1. With 52.1% of the actual voters, it occupies 65% of the seats in the State House of Representatives.

  According to a YouGov public opinion survey in August 2021, only 16% of voters believe that the state can divide electoral districts fairly, 44% think it can’t, and the remaining 40% are unsure.

As the political polarization in the United States intensifies, both parties are striving to maximize their own interests, and "Jerry Newt" has become the only choice.

  The Democratic Party’s “super-representative” system also hinders fair elections.

The "super representatives" are composed of the main leaders of the Democratic Party, members of the National Committee, all Democratic members of the Senate and House of Representatives, and current Democratic governors. They are selected in advance by "internal decision". Their voting intentions are based solely on personal preferences and the will of the party's high-level leaders and cannot reflect public opinion.

"Capitol Hill" political expert Mark Plotkin wrote in an article that the "super-representative" system in the Democratic Party primary elections in the US presidential election is neither fair nor democratic.

Such "elite practices" should be abolished immediately.

5. The failure of the democratic system triggers a crisis of trust

  American democracy is like a scene deliberately set up by Hollywood. It shows meticulously crafted personal settings, shouting at the people in front of the stage and making deals behind the scenes. The party is divided, money politics, and veto politics can't bring the high-quality governance that the people hope.

The American people have become increasingly disgusted with American politics and become increasingly negative towards American democracy.

  In October 2020, the Gallup Poll Company survey showed that only 19% of American respondents were very confident in the presidential election, which was the lowest record in the survey since 2004.

In November, the "Wall Street Journal" website pointed out that in the 2020 general election, people's confidence in the American democratic system fell to its lowest point in 20 years.

  According to a poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Public Affairs Research Center, only 16% of Americans say that democracy is working well or very well, 45% of Americans think that democracy is not functioning properly, and another 38% of Americans think that democracy is not working properly. It's not working well.

According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in the United States, only 20% of Americans trust the federal government all the time or most of the time.

  In May 2021, the Brookings Institution website stated that after the 2020 election, all 50 states in the United States will certify the election results, but 77% of Republican voters still questioned the legality of Biden's election as president on the grounds of vote fraud. sex.

This is the first time since the 1930s.

In September, a CNN poll showed that 56% of Americans believed that American democracy was “under attack”, 52% believed that the election did not or rarely reflected public opinion, and 51% believed that US officials might be affected by The party lost the election and overturned the election result.

  In 2021, Pew's survey of 16,000 and 2,500 Americans in 16 advanced economies shows that 57% of international respondents and 72% of Americans believe that the United States is no longer a "model of democracy for other countries to emulate." ".

(2) The practice of democracy is chaotic

  The alienation of American democracy is not only manifested in structural aspects such as institutional design, but also in its practice.

The United States is not a top student of democracy, let alone a "model of democracy."

The gunfire and farce on Capitol Hill completely unveiled the gorgeous cloak of American democracy.

The death of Black Freud exposed the long-standing systemic racial discrimination in American society, igniting a wave of protests throughout the United States and the world.

The new crown epidemic continues to be out of control, and whether to wear masks and get vaccinations has become a new fuse for social division and opposition.

Economic development dividends are unevenly distributed, and ordinary people's income has stagnated for a long time.

American democracy cannot effectively maintain public order and morals, and cannot fully provide public welfare.

1. Congressional riots shocked the world

  On the afternoon of January 6, 2021, thousands of Americans gathered on Capitol Hill in Washington and forcibly broke into the Capitol to prevent the joint meeting of the United States Congress from confirming the new president-elect of the United States.

The incident interrupted the transition process of the US President’s power and caused 5 deaths and more than 140 injuries.

This incident was the worst violent incident in Washington since the White House was set on fire by British troops in 1814. The Capitol was occupied for the first time in more than 200 years.

The Republican leader of the U.S. Senate referred to this incident as a "failed rebellion."

Scholars of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States exclaimed that the United States is not as unique as many Americans think. The congressional riots should put an end to the "American exceptionalism" and "city on the hill."

  The rush to Congress shaken the three cornerstones of American democracy.

One is that the so-called "democracy" is not democratic.

Some politicians in the United States refused to recognize the election results, and their supporters violently stormed the Capitol, which severely undermined the "credibility" of American democracy.

The second is that the so-called "free" is not free.

Social media such as Twitter and Facebook have frozen the personal accounts of some American politicians and announced their "social death", exposing the illusion of "freedom of speech" in the United States.

The third is that the so-called "rule of law" is not the rule of law.

U.S. law enforcement agencies have adopted strict and lenient attitudes toward "black people's fate" protests and attacks on Congress. Different law enforcement standards have once again exposed the dual nature of the U.S. "rule of law."

  The incident of rushing to the Congress shocked the international community, "sorrowing its misfortune, and angering it."

British Prime Minister Johnson tweeted that the incident in the US Congress was very shameful.

French President Macron stated in a speech that in the United States, one of the world's oldest democracies, the universal value of "one person, one vote" is being hit hard.

South African President Ramaphosa said that this has shaken the foundation of American democracy.

Former Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Susilo tweeted that American political farce is worth pondering. Without a perfect democratic system, democratic practice is even more imperfect.

2. Racial discrimination is deeply rooted

  The issue of racism is an indelible stigma of American democracy.

While the founding fathers of the United States said that "all men are created equal," they retained the slavery system in the 1789 Constitution.

Today, although the United States has abolished the apartheid system on the surface, white supremacy is rampant, and discrimination against blacks and other minorities still exists systematically.

  The racial problem in the United States "recurs" every once in a while.

On May 25, 2020, Minnesota police violently enforced law enforcement, resulting in the death of Black Freud.

Freud's desperate plea for "I can't breathe" before his death ignited raging public outrage. Afterwards, demonstrations broke out in hundreds of cities in 50 states to bring justice to Freud and protest the issue of racial discrimination.

The demonstration continued until more than a hundred days after the incident.

  Freud's experience is only a microcosm of the tragic situation of black Americans in the past century.

As Shulman, the chairman of the American Psychological Association, said, the United States has always been in a pandemic of racism, and the dream of the leader of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, has not yet been realized.

The Indian mainstream media "India Express" published an editorial saying that American racism has subverted the American democratic system.

  In February 2021, Stanford University News published an article examining systemic racial discrimination in various fields in the United States: In education, children of color are more closely monitored in schools; in the field of justice, people of color, especially blacks, are more likely to become Targets targeted; in the economic and employment fields, from applying for positions to obtaining loans, blacks and other minority ethnic groups are discriminated against in the workplace and the overall economic environment.

A research report from the University of Washington in the United States shows that between 1980 and 2018, about 30,800 people in the United States died as a result of police violence, which is about 17,100 more than the officially announced number. Among them, the possibility of African-American deaths due to police violence is white. 3.5 times.

  The anger that has erupted across the United States does not only come from blacks, it has crossed ethnic boundaries.

The Israeli "Jerusalem Post" website stated that American Jews are worried about right-wing anti-Semitism and violence driven by white supremacist groups.

The annual poll by the American Jewish Committee shows that in 2020, 43% of Jews in the United States believe that their sense of security is lower than the previous year. In 2017, 41% of people believe that anti-Semitism is a serious problem in the United States, and the rate is much higher. 21% in 2016, 21% in 2015 and 14% in 2013.

  Bullying of Asian groups in the United States is also increasing.

Since the outbreak of the new crown epidemic, Asian Americans have been humiliated and even attacked in public places one after another.

According to data released by the FBI, the number of hate crimes against Asian Americans in the United States will increase by 76% in 2020.

From March 2020 to June 2021, the "Stop Hatred of Asian Americans" organization received more than 9,000 complaints.

According to a survey of young Asian Americans on the NBC website, in the past year, a quarter of young Asian Americans have become targets of racial bullying, and nearly half of the respondents expressed pessimism about their own situation. , A quarter of the interviewees expressed fears about the situation of themselves and their families.

3. Out-of-control epidemic causes tragedy

  The United States claims to have the most abundant medical resources in the world, but its response to the new crown pneumonia epidemic has been chaotic, and it has become the country with the largest number of confirmed cases and deaths in the world.

  As of the end of November 2021, according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University, the United States has reported a total of more than 48 million confirmed cases of new coronary pneumonia and more than 770,000 deaths, both of which rank first in the world.

On January 8 this year, the United States added 300,777 new confirmed cases of new coronary pneumonia in a single day, reaching the highest level since the outbreak in the United States; on January 13, 4,170 Americans died of new coronary pneumonia, far exceeding the "9.11" terrorist attacks. The number of people killed in the incident.

At the end of November, the daily average number of newly confirmed cases in the United States exceeded 70,000, and there were more than 700 new deaths. On average, one person for every 500 people in the United States died of new coronary pneumonia.

Up to now, the number of deaths from the new crown disease in the United States has surpassed the number of deaths from the 1919 flu pandemic, and the number of deaths in the United States in World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Iraq War, and Afghanistan War combined.

If the United States can deal with it scientifically, many people will not have to pay the price of their lives.

William Fogg, an American epidemiologist and former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, believes that "this is a massacre."

  The epidemic hit the U.S. economy severely.

The speed and scale of business closures and unemployment waves in the United States are beyond imagination. A large number of people have been out of work for a long time, and social instability has increased, which has exacerbated Americans’ sense of anxiety and powerlessness.

The "New Crown Dilemma Report" of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities of the United States on July 29, 2021 shows that although the situation has improved compared to December 2020, the living difficulties of Americans in the first half of 2021 are still very common, and there are still 20 million. Adult households do not have enough food, 11.4 million adult renters cannot pay rent on time, and face the risk of being evicted from renting their houses.

US Census Bureau data show that as of July 5, 2021, the proportion of at least one person in a household with a minor who has lost a source of income is still as high as 22%.

Consumer confidence in the US has fallen sharply, and the recovery of the job market has slowed.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Oxford Economics and other institutions have significantly lowered their expectations for US economic growth.

At the same time, the superposition of factors such as the epidemic situation and three rounds of large-scale economic stimulus plans has led to congestion and supply shortages in U.S. ports, which in turn pushed up U.S. inflation.

In October of this year, the US Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 6.2% year-on-year, and the year-on-year increase for six consecutive months reached or exceeded 5%, the largest increase since 2008.

  疫情在美延宕,症结并非在于美国没有科学,而是不信科学、不用科学。美国一些政客为了选举,将党派利益置于国家利益之上,将抗疫问题政治化,一门心思对外“甩锅”推责。美联邦与各州一盘散沙,不仅形不成合力,反而彼此争斗。在这个大背景下,抗疫举措已被严重政治化,疫苗打与不打、口罩戴与不戴都成为了政党、民众争执的焦点,反智主义甚嚣尘上。

  法国《世界报》报道指出,新冠疫情危机揭示了美国民主制度的脆弱性。美国把昂贵的医疗卫生体系留给富人,放任贫穷者被剥夺社会保障,使美国这一世界上最发达国家因社会不公而变得落伍,这是民主偏差导致无法有效管控疫情的经典案例。斯坦福大学新闻网指出,在医疗卫生领域,新冠疫情对有色人种造成了更严重的影响,凸显了白人和有色人种之间健康水平差距。

4、贫富分化不断加剧

  美国是贫富分化最严重的西方国家。2021年美国基尼系数升至0.48,几乎是半个世纪以来的新高。美国智库政策研究院报告称,1990年至2021年,美国亿万富翁的总体财富增长了19倍,而同期美国中位数财富只增加了5.37%。这揭示了美国“富者愈富、穷者愈穷”的残酷现实。

  美联储2021年10月统计数据显示,截至今年6月,美国收入在中间60%的“中产阶级”拥有的财富在国家总财富中占比已经跌至26.6%,创过去30年来新低,而收入前1%的富人却拥有27%的国家财富,超过了“中产阶级”。

  加州大学伯克利分校经济学家伊曼努尔·萨兹发表的统计数据显示,美国前10%富人人均年收入是后90%人口的9倍多,前1%富人人均年收入是后90%人口的40倍,而前0.1%富人人均年收入是后90%人口的196倍之多。

  新冠疫情暴发以来,美国实施“大水漫灌”政策,在推高股市的同时也进一步拉大了贫富差距。美国亿万富翁拥有的总资产增加了1.763万亿美元,涨幅高达59.8%。排名前10%的美国富人持有89%的美国股票,创下历史新高。

  美国的贫富分化是由美国政治制度及其政府所代表的资本利益所决定的。从“占领华尔街”运动,到近期的“大猩猩”对视华尔街铜牛事件,美国民众对贫富分化的声讨从未停止,但现状毫无改变。美国治理者放任贫富差距扩大,疫情之下,资本优先、富人先行的社会规则更加横行。

5、“言论自由”名不副实

  在美国,媒体被称为与行政、立法、司法三权并立的“第四权力”,记者更是被誉为“无冕之王”。美国媒体虽然标榜独立于政治、为自由和真相服务,但早已服务于金钱和党派政治。

  少数传媒集团垄断美国新闻业,成为一手遮天的政治力量。1996年美国颁布了《电信法》,要求联邦政府放松媒体所有权监管,由此掀起史无前例的兼并狂潮,对美国媒体的多样性和独立性造成毁灭性打击。随着美国媒体数量锐减,少数几家公司不断做大,形成垄断巨头。今天的美国,少数几家企业控制90%以上的媒体,年收益甚至超过某些发展中国家的经济总量。这些媒体“巨无霸”一边大肆扩张商业版图,一边将触手伸向美国政坛,通过游说公关和竞选献金左右政治进程。

  被垄断的美国媒体成为公民政治权利的“隐形杀手”。美国传播政治经济学派代表人物、伊利诺伊大学香槟分校教授罗伯特·麦克切斯尼在《富媒体穷民主》一书中指出,出于追逐利润的本性,媒体公司将民众封锁在娱乐节目的世界中,使民众失去获取多元化信息的渠道、关心公共问题的兴趣以及明辨是非的能力,在社会政策制定过程中逐渐失声。民主政治文化在媒体高度发达的美国社会变得极度萎缩,“政治疏离”导致民主成为一种“没有公民”的政治游戏。迈阿密《新先驱报》报道称,在精英和财团控制的媒体诱导下,民众已无法辨别哪些是事实真相,哪些是政治宣传。

  美国媒体不再是民主的“守门员”。媒体行业的“左右之争”无形中加深了美国两党之间、精英与平民之间的隔阂与分歧,造成“左的更左”、“右的更右”,并导致极端思想和民粹主义在美国登堂入室。

  韩国智库世宗研究所刊文指出,超过80%的美国保守派选民将《纽约时报》等主流媒体报道视为虚假消息,对媒体的信任呈偏向性。选民只听信特定媒体,无视国家层面沟通,大喊大叫、消极党争代替了冷静讨论和共识。牛津大学—路透社新闻研究所发布《2021全球数字新闻洞察报告》指出,在对46个国家的92000名新闻消费者调查后发现,美国民众对媒体的信任度排名垫底,受调查人群中仅有29%的民众信任媒体。

  在传统媒体衰落的信息时代,社交媒体一跃成为公众“新宠”,但也免不了复制传统媒体被大资本和利益集团控制的老路。社交媒体公司为了赚取流量,利用算法为用户编织起“信息茧房”,对提供的极端内容不加管控,从而导致使用者日益自我固化,身份政治和民意撕裂更加严重。

  2021年10月,前脸书公司员工豪根公布了数万份关于脸书公司内部运作的爆炸性文件。豪根向美国哥伦比亚广播公司透露,脸书公司为了保持用户粘度,不惜牺牲公众利益而攫取利润。脸书平台是社会极端分子的主要阵地,充斥着仇恨言论、虚假信息和错误信息,而只有3%至5%的仇恨以及约0.6%的暴力和煽动性言论得到管控。

(三)输出所谓民主产生恶果

  美国政府不顾世界上不同国家和地区在经济发展水平和历史文化方面存在的巨大差异,将自己的政治制度和价值理念强加于人,推行“民主改造”,策划“颜色革命”,肆意干涉他国内政,甚至颠覆他国政权,造成灾难性后果。美国按照自己的形象塑造其他国家、“输出民主”的行为本身就不民主,从根本上违背了民主的核心价值理念。美式民主嫁接之地,不但没有产生“化学反应”,反而引发“水土不服”,导致许多地区和国家深陷动荡、冲突和战争泥潭。

1、“颜色革命”危害地区和国家稳定

  美国惯于打着所谓“民主价值”的旗号,大肆干涉别国内政、甚至策动政权更迭、扶持亲美政府。前美国中央情报局高官曾宣称“把人们塑造成为我们需要的样子,让他们听我们的。只要把脑子弄乱,我们就能不知不觉改变人们的价值观念,并迫使他们相信一种经过偷换的价值观念”。美国前国务卿蓬佩奥曾公开表示:“我曾担任美国中央情报局局长。我们撒谎、我们欺骗、我们偷窃。我们还有一门课程专门来教这些。这才是美国不断探索进取的荣耀。”

  美国已形成了一整套实施“和平演变”的套路:首先借所谓“文化交流”、经济援助、控制舆论等方式,为发动“颜色革命”制造舆论氛围,尽量夸大现政权的错误、弊端,以激起群众的不满和反政府情绪;同时,向民众灌输美国的价值观,使人们认同美国的经济政治制度;培养大量非政府组织,全方位培训反对派领导人,抓住重要选举或突发事件的时机,通过各种街头政治活动,推翻当地政权。

  历史上,美国借“推广民主”之名在拉美推行“新门罗主义”,在欧亚地区煽动“颜色革命”,在西亚北非国家遥控“阿拉伯之春”,给多国带来混乱和灾难,严重损害世界和平、稳定和发展。

  在拉美和加勒比地区,“美式民主”的美颜滤镜早已破碎,美国“民主典范”的自我表演充满了尴尬。1823年,美国发表“门罗宣言”,宣称“美洲是美洲人的美洲”,鼓噪“泛美主义”。此后,美国无数次打着“传播民主”的旗号,对拉美和加勒比地区进行政治干涉、军事介入和政权颠覆。无论是敌视封锁社会主义古巴近60年,还是颠覆智利阿连德政府等,都是“顺我者昌,逆我者亡”的霸权行径。

  2003年起,东欧、中亚地区接连发生格鲁吉亚“玫瑰革命”、乌克兰“橙色革命”和吉尔吉斯斯坦“郁金香革命”。美国国务院公开承认在这些“政权更迭”中发挥了“中心作用”。2020年10月,俄罗斯对外情报局披露美国计划在摩尔多瓦掀起“颜色革命”。

  始于2010年的“阿拉伯之春”造成整个中东地区的强烈震荡,而美国在其中扮演着幕后“操盘手”的重要角色。2011年《纽约时报》披露,少数由美国政府资助的核心组织正在“专制的”阿拉伯国家推广民主。参与“阿拉伯之春”的若干组织和个人曾从美国“国际共和研究所”“国际事务民主协会”和“自由之家”获得培训和资助。埃塞俄比亚非洲和国际事务专家穆斯塔法·阿哈马迪在“金字塔在线”网站发表文章《应许之地》指出,埃及人民在奥巴马“现在就意味着现在”的口号煽动下推翻了穆巴拉克,但埃及人民也因政局变动付出了沉重代价。美国的所作所为使阿拉伯人民认识到,美国希望将一种刻板的民主模式强加于阿拉伯人,而不管他们的意愿如何。

  环顾被美国强行“推销”价值观的国家,真正的民主、自由、人权不见踪迹,持久混乱、发展停滞和人道主义灾难却随处可见。美国对多国的价值观输出,阻断了这些国家正常的发展进程,阻碍了这些国家探索适合本国国情的发展道路和模式,给当地带来政治、经济、社会的强烈动荡,毁灭了一个个曾经美好的家园,滋生恐怖主义等长期后患,威胁和破坏地区乃至全球安全。正如法国《大晚报》所指出的,“民主”在美国手中早已成为对异见国家的“大规模杀伤性武器”。

  美国在评价国内外民主方面秉持不同标准,是褒是贬由美国自说自话、随心所欲。2021年1月6日,美国发生冲闯国会山事件后,有位美国政客将其比作“9·11”恐怖袭击,声称这是对美国国会、宪法和民主“可耻的攻击”。但讽刺的是,2019年6月,此人却将发生在香港立法会的暴力示威活动描绘成“一道美丽的风景线”,并对暴徒展现出的“勇气”大加赞赏,暴露出赤裸裸的“双重标准”。

2、强推所谓民主造成人道悲剧

  美国强制输出所谓民主,酿成多国人道灾难。美国发动长达20年的阿富汗战争让阿富汗满目疮痍,民生凋敝。据统计,总共47245名阿富汗平民以及6.6万至6.9万名与“9·11”事件无关的阿富汗军人和警察在美军行动中丧生,1000多万人流离失所。阿富汗战争毁坏阿经济发展基础,让阿富汗人民一贫如洗。

  2003年,美国以所谓伊拉克持有大规模杀伤性武器为由,对伊拉克发动军事打击。战争导致的平民死亡人数有20万至25万人,其中美军直接致死的超过16000人,并造成100多万人无家可归。美军还严重违反国际人道主义原则,频频制造“虐囚”事件。时至今日,美国也拿不出所谓“伊拉克持有大规模杀伤性武器”的证据。

  2016年至2019年,叙利亚有记载死于战乱的平民达33584人。其中,美国领导的联军轰炸直接致死3833人,有半数是妇女和儿童。美国公共电视网2018年11月9日报道,仅美军对拉卡市发动的所谓“史上最精确的空袭”,就导致1600名叙平民被炸死。

  2018年,美国以“阻止叙利亚政府使用化学武器”为由,再次对叙展开空中打击。但后来所谓叙利亚政府使用化学武器的证据,被证明只不过是美国等国情报部门资助的“白头盔”组织自编自演的摆拍视频而已。

3、滥用制裁破坏国际规则

  单边制裁是美国的对外大棒。长期以来,美国滥用自身金融霸权和技术优势,频频采取单边霸凌行径。美国制订了《国际紧急经济权力法》《全球马格尼茨基人权问责法》《以制裁反击美国敌人法》等国内恶法并炮制了一系列行政令直接对特定国家、组织或个人进行制裁,以“最低联系原则”“效果原则”等模棱两可的规则任意扩大美国内法管辖范围,还滥用国内司法诉讼渠道对其他国家实体和个人搞“长臂管辖”,其中最典型的案例就是“阿尔斯通案”和“孟晚舟案”。据统计,特朗普政府累计实施逾3900项制裁措施,相当于平均每天挥舞3次“制裁大棒”。截至2021财年,美净制裁实体和个人高达9421个,较2000财年增长933%。美实施非法单边制裁与“长臂管辖”,严重损害他国主权安全,严重影响有关国家国计民生,严重违反国际法和国际关系基本准则。

  2021年以来,美对外制裁没有收手。美国政府联合欧洲盟国加大对俄罗斯遏制打压,以纳瓦尔内事件、俄对美网络攻击、干预美大选等为由对俄实施全面制裁,并发动外交战,驱逐俄外交人员。在“北溪-2”天然气管道项目和数字税等问题上,美国制裁欧洲盟友也毫不客气。自中美第一阶段经贸协议生效以来,美国不断对华采取打压遏制措施,将940多个中国实体和个人列入各类限制清单。根据美财政部外国资产控制办公室数据,截至10月19日,美制裁含香港、澳门在内的中国实体和个人数量达391个。

  美国塔夫茨大学教授、布鲁金斯学会高级研究员丹尼尔·德雷兹纳今年9月在《外交》杂志发表文章,批评美国历届政府将制裁作为解决外交问题的首选方案,非但起不到效果,还造成人道主义灾难,称“美利坚合众国”已成为“制裁合众国”。

  美国实施单方面制裁,持续严重侵犯本国及他国人民的人权。其中最恶劣的例子就是对古巴持续实施封锁。60多年来,美国罔顾联合国大会的多项决议,基于通过禁运政策和《托里切利法》《赫尔姆斯-伯顿法》等国内法构筑起针对古巴的全面封锁体系,实施了现代历史上持续时间最长、程度最严厉的系统性贸易禁运、经济封锁和金融制裁,严重损害古经济社会发展,令古蒙受直接经济损失逾千亿美元。

  自上世纪70年代末,美国对伊朗开始了长期封锁和制裁。40多年来,美单边制裁力度和频度不断加大,逐步形成以金融、贸易、能源和实体个人等多领域制裁为主要手段的严密体系,对伊朗施加全方位、多管齐下的制裁压力。2018年5月,美国政府单方面退出伊朗核问题全面协议,随后重启并新增一系列对伊制裁。许多国家和相关实体被迫放弃与伊合作,大批国外石油企业陆续撤出伊,伊制造业难以正常运行,经济增速下滑,同时造成通胀高企、货币大幅贬值。

  美国还对白俄罗斯、叙利亚、津巴布韦等国实施多年制裁,加大对朝鲜、委内瑞拉等国“极限施压”。

4、“民主灯塔”招致全球批评

  全球民众的眼睛是雪亮的,对于美国民主存在的种种缺陷、美国输出“民主价值观”的虚伪性以及美借民主之名在全球横行霸道看得一清二楚。

  俄罗斯外交部发言人指出,美国早已习惯于自诩为“世界民主灯塔”,要求别国人道对待和平请愿,但在自己国内却采取截然相反的做法,美国根本不是照亮民主的灯塔。美国政府首先应倾听本国民众呼声,不要一边在国内搞“猎巫行动”,一边还道貌岸然地大谈别国人权问题。美国在人权和公民自由问题上根本没资格对别国指手画脚。

  2021年5月,德国民调机构拉塔纳和由北约前秘书长、丹麦前首相拉斯穆森创建的民主国家联盟基金会在53个国家对5万多人进行的“2021年民主认知指数”调查结果显示,44%的受访者担心美国对本国民主构成威胁,50%的美国受访者担心美国是非民主国家,59%的美国受访者认为美国政府只代表少数集团利益。

  2021年6月,英国伦敦大学政治学副教授克拉斯在《华盛顿邮报》发表文章《美国民主失灵令世界震惊》。文章援引的皮尤民调显示,美国不再是“山巅之城”,美多数盟友将美国民主视为“破碎的过往”,新西兰、澳大利亚、加拿大、瑞典、荷兰和英国分别有69%、65%、60%、59%、56%和53%的民众认为美国政治体制运行得不太好或者很不好。法国、德国、新西兰、希腊、比利时、瑞典等国均有超过四分之一的民众认为“美国从来都不是民主典范”。

  民调机构“欧盟观点”发布的报告显示,欧盟对美国制度的信心下滑,52%的人认为美国民主制度无效,这一比例在法国和德国分别为65%和61%。

  2021年9月,英国知名学者马丁·沃尔夫在《金融时报》发表文章《美国民主的奇异消亡》指出,美国的政治环境已走到快无法挽回的程度,民主共和国进一步向专制主义转变。

  In November 2021, the Swedish think tank "International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance" released its annual report "The State of Global Democracy in 2021", which included the United States on the "Regressive Democracy List" for the first time.

The secretary-general of the organization stated that the state of democracy in the United States has clearly deteriorated, which is reflected in the growing tendency to question credible election results, the suppression of election participation, and the increasingly serious phenomenon of polarization.

  Indian political activist Yadav pointed out that the United States is not a "democratic model." The world recognizes that American democracy urgently needs self-reflection and that the United States needs to learn from other democracies.

Mexico’s "Process" magazine commented that, under the appearance of democracy and freedom, the American democratic system has huge flaws.

Mbet, a senior lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, wrote in the “Postal Guardian” that many signs of free and fair elections, such as universal voter lists, centralized election management, uniform rules and regulations, In fact, it is missing in the American system.

Good election behavior in democratic training that Africans have received has never existed in the United States.

Concluding remarks

  The United States, a city on the top of the mountain, no longer has the lighthouse effect.

  -"The Times of Israel"

  The current United States should effectively protect the democratic rights of the people internally, improve its own democratic system, shoulder more international responsibilities externally, and provide more public products, instead of only talking about procedural democracy, formal democracy and ignoring substantive democracy and democracy internally. As a result, democracy is to impose American democracy on others, to divide camps by means of values, and to interfere, subvert, and invade under the banner of democracy.

  At present, the international community is responding to urgent global challenges such as the new crown pneumonia epidemic, slowing economic growth, and climate change crisis.

In the face of these risks and challenges, no one can stand alone. Unity and cooperation are the most powerful weapons.

The unification, absoluteization, instrumentalization, and weaponization of democracy and the artificial creation of group politics and camp opposition run counter to the spirit of helping each other in the same boat.

  Countries should transcend differences in different systems, abandon zero-sum game thinking, practice true multilateralism, promote the common values ​​of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom for all mankind, respect each other, seek common ground while reserving differences, cooperate and win-win, and jointly build mankind Community with a shared future.

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