Democracy Minus

What percent of Americans say that democracy is working very well in the U.S. today?

  1. How accurate was your splendid prediction?

  2. What story does this data tell about how Americans feel about democracy?

  3. Why do you think Americans feel that way about democracy?

  4. What is a consequence of this?

  5. How different are Democratic and Republican views of American democracy?

  6. Why do you think that is?

  7. I am wondering if the political party of the president has an impact on how partisans feel about democracy at that time. How different do you think Democratic and Republican views on American democracy were during the Obama presidency?

  8. Explain how well you think democracy is working in the U.S.

  9. Describe one aspect of American politics which leads you to that conclusion.

  10. What percent of Americans think that significant changes are needed in the fundamental design and structure of American government?

  11. The Declaration of Independence asserts that “men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” Does the fact that 61% of Americans believe the government needs fundamental and structural changes mean that the government has lost the consent of the governed and, if so, does that give us the right to alter or abolish our government?

  12. The Declaration of Independence listed the specific gripes the colonists had against the stupid British King. More than two thirds of Democrats think significant changes need to be made in the fundamental design and structure of American government. Describe some specific gripes and changes you think the typical Democrat would advocate today.

  13. Thinking about the fundamental design and structure of American government explain whether you believe that the significant changes are needed?

  14. If so, list three changes to the fundamental design and structure of American government that you would support.

  15. Do you believe that significant changes to the fundamental design and structure of American government are likely to occur?

  16. Describe the method by which Americans could undertake significant changes to the fundamental design and structure of American government.

  17. Was the Constitutional Convention that the Framers convened in Philadelphia in 1787 legal under the Articles of Confederation?

Learning Extension

Read the Pew Report Democracy and government, the U.S. political system, elected officials and governmental institutions

Action Extension

Even if you think that Democracy is working in general, you still must have at least one gripe with American democracy. Write a 28th Amendment describing a way to fix one problem with American democracy.

Our World in Data Extension

Our Animals in Clothes Extension