As of recent times, not only has the conception of United States as the international vanguard of democracy been tarnished, but also several flaws of the American democratic
system have been revealed, raising questions about the legitimacy of the American government.
Indeed, it is hard to claim with a straight face that fundamental questions concerning the legitimacy of the government of the United States as a democratic system of governance representative of the will of its citizens are unwarranted. Such questions about the legitimacy of
the American government arise partly as a result of recent statistics depicting the traditionally low rate of voter participation in national elections.
The percentage of the voting age population (VAP) that turned out to vote in national presidential elections has declined from 63.06% in 1960 to 51.3% in 2000 (Federal Election Commission), and the decline of the percentage of the VAP that votes in mid-term elections has been even greater, with only a staggeringly low 39.4% turnout in 2002, constituting a more than 20% decrease from the 1960s (Center for Voting and Democracy).
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