Is This The End of American Democracy?

Changsin Lee
7 min readNov 26, 2022

Is America a democratic country when there is no freedom of speech?

Photo by Dimitar Donovski on Unsplash

The US midterm elections results are in and the ‘red wave’ that people anticipated turned out to be just a small splash. While the result is still being analyzed, it shows a deeper problem with US democracy: namely, the voter turnout.

The low voter turnout rate

The turnout rate for the 2020 Presidential election soared to 62.8% and the 2018 midterm election was also considered high at 47.5%. As a pew research article showed, the US trails behind other developed countries in voter turnout. Here is the voter turnout for presidential elections between the US and South Korea.

Given that voting is the primary mechanism of the democratic process, the lackadaisical attitude of the US voters should sound an alarm. Citizens in countries like Sweden, New Zealand, South Korea, and the Netherlands are more willing to make sure that their votes are counted.

Why is the low voter turnout a problem? Just as an example, the turnout rate of Hong Kong citizens hit a record low when only pro-Beijing candidates were allowed in the December 2021 legislative election. No show was a passive-aggressive reaction of the Hong Kong citizens when they felt that their voices were not heard.

There might be many factors that contribute to the low turnout rate but for the US, I argue that freedom of speech is one of the primary factors. This might sound crazy because the First Amendment is in the constitution. Hear me out to present my case.

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Changsin Lee

AI/ML Enthusiast | Software Engineer | ex-Microsoftie | ex-Amazonian