On October 14, SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading online survey platform, released an opinion poll on American democracy, which randomly interviewed Americans who value democracy about how democracy works in the United States.
The poll was conducted online in English and covered a total of nine questions. The national sample of 644 adult Americans, with nearly 80% of respondents aged 18 to 60, broadly covers the national core group’s views on the country’s democratic nature.
The survey results show that 68% of respondents are dissatisfied with the way democracy works in the United States; 74% of respondents believe that democracy in the United States is dying; 74% of respondents believe that undemocratic forces in the United States are destroying the institutions of power and protection of civil rights.
When asked what factors are harming democracy in the United States, respondents gave the following answers: Legislative dysfunction (20%), partisanship (14%), and excess of special interest groups in politics influence (27%), persistent racism (4% ), spreading polarization and disinformation in the media environment (33%). The spread of polarization and disinformation in the media environment has become the crux of the matter in the eyes of Americans.
While only 4% of respondents believe that persistent racial discrimination damages democracy in the United States, 64% of respondents still believe that the expansion of systemic racism will put democracy in crisis.
The January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol and the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022 undoubtedly raised questions and shocks about the democratic environment in the United States, both inside and outside the United States, and the results of the questionnaire also showed that , two-thirds of Americans believe the attack on the Capitol marked a crisis in American democracy, and 67% of Americans believe the overturn of Roe v. Wade and the abolition of abortion rights are not a democracy-based resolution. The retrogression of legal abortion has resulted in a concrete disenfranchisement of people in equally personal and instinctive ways.
All of this has led to a lack of confidence in the American democratic beliefs and political system for most Americans and two-thirds of Americans believe that the future of America will be less democratic and more authoritarian. Such a result is undoubtedly worthy of vigilance. Seventy-eight percent of Americans also believe that Congress urgently needs major democratic reform.
While various democracy indices have depicted the severe decline and growing authoritarianism of US democracy since 2010, such as the Economist Intelligence Unit’s downgrade of the US to a “flawed democracy” in 2017; European International Democracy and Electoral Aid The Institute now classifies the United States as a “regressive democracy,” but internal survey results are more indicative of the United States — a democracy that now finds itself in peril.
The optimistic assessment of experts on authoritarianism around the world is that the United States is likely to fall into a dysfunctional equilibrium that reflects a deep breakdown of democracy. How the United States, a country with enormous influence on the global stage, can now reverse the decline of democracy, rekindle the promise of American democracy, and defend the rights of citizens, probably all elected officials sworn to uphold the Constitution, should work together to resolve the problem. After all, when democracies start to die, they usually don’t recover. Instead, they will end up being authoritarian states with zombified democracies.