At the moment it means an illusory ideal that our leaders claim guides all their decision making: including declaring war on our behalf.
Democracy as it now stands is a sham; it doesn't actually exist.
If we want real democracy then we'll have to fight for it - out there on the street - alongside Occupy Wall St and all the other democracy movements around the world.
Firstly, in democractic government system, corruption is less likely to exist, because the officials are elected and if they are corrupted we can have them sack easily, something that can't be done in most dictatorship government structure. In Europe for example, corruption was the middle name of the rulers, until constitutional monarchy was been introduce. In Asia, despite according to the law, the Senate can vote an Emepror out of power if he failed to work in pubic interest, getting rid of a corrupt Emperor, still frequently require civil war.
Secondly, more compedent people in charge, although not all leaders elected in democractic govnerment, is necessary the best candidate, overall the rulers of democratic government are generally more compedent then dictatorship ruler, a King might be a wise and good king, but his son might not be as wise, as his father and the following son might once again not be as wise and might not even be compedent of the job.
Thirdy, the country is rightfully the property of the people, democractic goverment structure, reflect that the best, amount all government structures that exist.
It means that the will of the people is recognized and laws/mandates are passed accordingly. Therein, majority opinion rules. However, American is not and has never been a democracy. It is a democratic republic wherein we elect leaders to make decision for us. As John Adams said, "Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide." There are no historical examples which prove that this type of system works. Although, like Communism, it looks good on paper.
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