A very common misconception that many people have about America, is that it is a democratic state. It’s not. It actually never has been. The American government (since 1789) has been a Federal-Republic with Democratic traditions. This means that our federal government are full of representatives, that the people elect, who have the control of the government. Does this mean the power of the government doesn’t belong to the people? Absolutely not.
The people elect these officials and any one person can become an elected official for the federal government. The power is essentially still in the people’s hands, but we leave the extremely difficult job to the officials we elect (law making, enforcing, protecting). Now, that was the “Republic part of the US. The Federal part is quite simple. The states are self governing bodies united by a stronger central government. The states are self governing and the Federal government is the stronger central government. Federal laws have trump over state laws. Very simple (this was to correct the weak and chaotic confederacy the US had from 1776-1789).
What about democratic traditions? As most people are aware, the people in a smaller region (states, counties, cities, towns) have the ability from time to time to vote on laws and such. Each individual person has a voice in things that will effect their lives. An example is when my city had an election to either raise taxes and keep our public library, or not to raise taxes and close down the library. Now, the city council had this proposition mapped out, but each individual in my city voted on the proposition. That is an example of a Democracy. This doesn’t happen in the Federal Government. In the State Governments, this may happen, but never the Federal. If you can remember how a bill becomes law in the US, the people don’t have much of a say other than writing to the local Rep. or Senator how to vote on the bill. Otherwise, it’s in the hands of the officials from step 2 to the finish. That is not Democratic, but Republican.
In our states, counties, etc. we tend to hold to some democratic traditions that the people have held for maybe 300 years in America. However, to demand a form of government back that we never had, is quite insane if you ask me. Demanding less lobbyists and voting out corrupt officials, now that is getting somewhere.