Is the US actually a democracy?

Law professor Ganesh Sitaraman explains why America has never achieved true democracy—and how it can.

  • Three essential components of democracy are economic equality, social unity, and a government that acts in the interest of the people. America lacks all three of those components, says Vanderbilt University Law School Professor Ganesh Sitaraman.
  • "In study after study, political scientists have shown that our government is responsive primarily to the wealthy and interest groups, not to ordinary people," says Sitaraman. "A system of government that is mostly unresponsive to the people is not a democracy at all."
  • Sitaraman argues that the neoliberal era is what divided America and continues to prevent the country from realizing a true democracy. In this video, he explains the problem with neoliberalism and how a new agenda could create far better opportunities.
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Here's why narcissists become leaders, according to two psychologists

Psychologists W. Keith Campbell, (Ph.D.) and Carolyn Crist explain why narcissists rise to power and how to make sure your support is going to someone making effective, positive change.

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  • Pathological narcissism is rare. It impacts an estimated 1 percent of the population.
  • Narcissism is tied closely to leadership emergence, as narcissists tend to initially be confident, charismatic, and charming. Leadership is a natural goal for narcissists because it feeds their motivational goals of status, power, and attention.
  • Psychologists W. Keith Campbell, (Ph.D.) and Carolyn Crist explain why narcissists rise to power.
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‘Global democratic recession’ has been eroding freedoms since 2006, says study

The 20th century was marked by waves of pro-democracy revolutions. Now, the future of democracy looks uncertain.

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  • A recent paper examined the status of democracy among the world's countries.
  • The paper outlines three key indicators showing that democracy is generally declining worldwide, and it lists several potential reasons for the decline.
  • Surveys indicate that nearly half of U.S. citizens are dissatisfied with how democracy is playing out on the national level.
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Is this the end of the myth of American exceptionalism?

In his new book, "American Rule," Jared Yates Sexton hopes to overturn a centuries-long myth.

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  • In "American Rule," Jared Yates Sexton wants to eradicate the myth of American exceptionalism.
  • Since its founding, Sexton writes that America has been constructed to protect the wealthy elite.
  • In this interview, the writer suggests that facing up to our tragic history affords us an opportunity to build something new.
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Will social media’s impact on the elections be different this time?

Will nefarious players use social media to sway public opinion again this November?

  • The effective subversion of social media during the 2016 U.S. presidential election was unprecedented and highlighted the major role social media plays in politics.
  • Today, it's harder to repurpose private social data than it was four years ago, but paid and organic audience microtargeting continues.
  • Fake news and disinformation still spread freely. Networks of fake accounts are being taken down, but there's no way to know what percentage continue to operate. Meanwhile, the same principles power the news feed algorithms, surfacing partisan content and reaffirming audience biases.
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