The Three-Toed Sloth Known As Democracy And Why It Sucks
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

The Three-Toed Sloth Known As Democracy And Why It Sucks

"It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried." - Winston Churchill

The Three-Toed Sloth Known As Democracy And Why It Sucks
Photoshop Credit: Daniel Emirkhanian

I'm going to start this article off by stating one simple fact: Democracy sucks. Now, don’t get your red-white-and-blue undergarments in a bunch, just hear me out.

As an undergraduate with an international studies major, it was my job to investigate loosely and learn about the different countries in the world and all their attempts at governing themselves. I found out about oligarchies, anarchies, insurgencies, fascism, communism, socialism (yes, those are different) and democracies. I’ve also learned about how these things came about, what was good and bad about them and why, eventually, they failed. Like I said, a slightly more-than-average understanding of a lot of different places. Knowing all this, I will reiterate my earlier statement: Democracy sucks.

Why does democracy suck? Because it's slow. Ever wonder why China became an economic powerhouse? Or how the Soviet Union, a very new government, suddenly was competing toe-to-toe with the United States during the Cold War? Because they didn't rely on the giant three-toed sloth otherwise known as democracy. Without getting into too much detail, both China and the Soviet Union are/were an authoritarian government, where a small group of elites, or one individual (in the Soviet Union’s case), would make all of the decisions. Do you need education reform? Done. Build 30 new missiles? Why not? Need a high-speed rail? Tickets will be sold next week. As many in the U.S. will understand, no single decision in a democracy is ever so simple. Gun regulation is such a hotly debated topic, yet no one is willing to address it. Environmental law is discussed for hours without any results. Social security has been predicted to fail for several decades now, and not a single lawmaker can agree on the path to take.

Why else do democracies suck? Because they're nearly impossible to establish. I cannot even accurately recall how many times a country has tried to establish democracy only to have it crumble and wash away. Democracies, in their infancies, are the weakest forms of governments out there, because everyone must be willing to participate in the system. Think about it this way: If President Obama’s term ended in January, and he decided that he doesn't want to leave, what would we do? Call the military? He controls that. Get Congress to do something? He could disband that. Get the Supreme Court to rule on it? He could have them all arrested. If, at any point, a high-powered official decides to no longer participate in the democratic system, it will collapse. Military coups happen all the time to democracies, replaced with some form of top-down system.

So, what’s the point then? If democracies suck so bad, why should we bother? America cannot get anything done, and we will all be under China’s rule within 30 years. Right? Well, no. The fact that America has had such a long-functioning democratic system is nothing short of a miracle. Then, when you consider that not only have we managed to exist, we've also managed to thrive, becoming a global, economic and political powerhouse–that's like winning the lottery and getting struck by lightning six times. Are democracies slow? Yes, but that slowness allows us the space to talk about decisions and make sure they're the right ones. Democracies tend to avoid making huge, disastrous mistakes because of this. Are they near impossible to establish? Yes, but surpassing that difficulty is a sign that people want to take government into their hands and better themselves.

However, democracies suck. Looking inwardly, we can see that each new voter is less inclined to vote, and rather than shaping our future, many of us decide not to bother. We choose to ignore the system. because we feel that it won't make a difference. Maybe our vote doesn't count, maybe things move too slow or maybe we think the system is corrupt. However, that's the one advantage democracies have over all other systems. If we don't like something, we can change it. And, compared to participating in a revolution where, at any moment, you and your entire family could be murdered for disagreeing with your leaders, it's not that hard. All you have to do is vote.

Coincidentally, a primary is taking place on Tuesday, June 7 in California, and as famous as the presidential election is, don’t forget to vote for your local races. If you want to make a difference, it starts here, when you send members to your local city council, to your State Assembly or House of Representatives. These elections matter the most. Democracies suck, this much is true. However, no other political system will let you get involved. No other political system will listen to your opinion and care about it.

Long story short: Vote, damn it.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Planning Another Christmas Party

Don't just plan another plain party but get creative to have everyone wanting to come back next year!

Getty Famous

You know it's Christmas when the radio stations change to all of your favorite holiday tunes, the air is still, and stores have the best sales. With all my favorite things from Christmas happening my least favorite probably has to be when I have to go to another same old boring Christmas party that I get invited to every year. Here are some Christmas party ideas so that you won't have another sad Christmas party.

Keep Reading... Show less

High School Soccer is Wildly Important

For Young Players Who Want to Succeed at The Next Level

High School Soccer is Wildly Important

Whose choice is it? The parent? The player? There are a number of reasons that a kid may sit out of high school soccer, and to be completely honest; It is a huge mistake. High school soccer is the final piece in the puzzle that takes a player from above average or elite, to college ready by the end of their senior year. Every year thousands of talented athletes don't play for their high schools. Why though?

Keep Reading... Show less

8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List

December is around the corner, are you ready?

8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List

As they tend to say, its the most wonderful time of the year! People have begun to compile their Christmas to-do lists in anticipation for the season of sugarplums and gingerbread.

The history of the Christmas to-do lists goes back hundreds of years, almost as old as the holiday itself, however, people tend to fall out of this habit as they get older. This is unfortunate, as the theme of Christmas tradition can add bundles of the spirit of joy to your families.

Keep Reading... Show less

Fall Weather Must-Haves

Put away the swim suits and your favorite high-waisted shorts!


The transitional months of fall can cause some fashion headaches as you try to figure out what clothing to keep in your closet. With limited amount of college living space and the ever-unpredictable Nebraska weather, sometimes it’s difficult to know what should be taking up that precious closet space as you transition into winter. As you pack away those tanks and shorts for the chilly months ahead, get your closet ready with a few Fall must-haves. 

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Take a look at the articles driving big conversations on Odyssey.


At Odyssey, we're on a mission to encourage constructive discourse on the Internet. That's why we created the response button you can find at the bottom of every article.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments