Just one of the reasons other countries find it difficult to cooperate with the United States on issues of global concern such as climate change and global jhad is its self-righteous attitude about its purported democratic form of government. Other countries see themselves as democratic or at least as democratic as the United States, but face a profound disdain from our leaders when asked to cooperate in areas of mutual concern. Is this "American exceptionalism" justified by our historical record? US Person thinks not.
One only has to return to the disputed election of 2000 to see the triumph of plutocratic diktat when George W. Bush was installed by a conservative, unelected Supreme Court despite Al Gore's popular vote victory both nationwide and in the disputed state of Florida. Essentially, the case of Bush v. Gore was a coup d'état. But the ability of political elites' ability to manipulate the American election process was even more flagrantly displayed in the contested election of 1876, when a single disputed Electoral College vote allowed a Republican Congress voting along party lines to award disputed electoral votes from Florida, South Carolina and Louisiana (still not under home rule) to Rutherford B. Hayes as president. The popular election of Democrat Samuel J. Tilden by more than 50% of the vote was voided by the nation's elite. In the so-called "Compromise of 1877" Tilden conceded in a hotel-room deal in return for the removal of federal troops from the South which sealed the failure of Reconstruction to dismantle its agrarian, white plutocracy. The lecture at the Flagler Museum below discusses the most disputed election in American history in its historical context. Skip the first four and half minutes to avoid introductions and credits.
There is a modern lesson from the centennial deal that compromised American democracy irrevocably. Given our current federal election system, it can happen again in a close election where the results are contested. This election cycle is shaping into such a potentially indecisive and disruptive contest between a Wall Street hack and a dangerous, racist demagogue who seems to have concluded the road to more personal fame and fortune is through agitation of nativist reaction similar to the bloody shirt tactics employed by Republicans in 1876.
Unfortunately for the rest of us, such irresponsible rhetoric by so-called political leaders indirectly contributes to the goal of ISIS to provoke the west into a cataclysmic crusade against the world's 1.6billion Muslims. For arrogant America finds it much easier to drop bombs than wage peace.