President Trump is not entirely to blame for the deterioration of democracy in America. He merely poured gasoline on a fire that was already burning.

That is if you agree with the following description of democracy.

A democracy is a society in which every x number of years representatives of regions and districts, who are often from various and often opposing parties are duly and fairly elected. Duly and fairly is what differentiate a democracy from a dictatorship.

After such individuals are elected in a democracy, the people from the electorate that opposed them willingly cooperate with those leaders in solving problems that those officials and their party deem to be in the best interest of the majority of the people whose district they represent.

If the losing party and its followers refuse to do so, they have no right to expect that if and when people from their party are elected in a subsequent election that the people from the opposing – and then losing – side will then cooperate with them.

Following their being elected, it will be up to those officials and their party to make a compelling and convincing case for how their solutions and initiatives are in the best interest of the majority of the people whose regions and districts they represent.

Additionally, in a humane democracy, solutions will also be provided for those individuals who may not be in the majority but are truly hurting from economic, health hardship and adversity not of their own doing, and who are legitimately in need of such help.

That is if you believe that the measure of a humane democracy and civilization is not only how it responds to those who have hurt or opposed it, but also how it responds to those who are hurting in it.

In a democracy, rather than an opposing and losing party and its followers blocking and stymieing any and all effort by the dominant party to make progress (a.k.a. gridlock), they will cooperate again as long as the elected representatives’ and his/her party’s strategies are in the interest of the majority of citizens and also those who are truly in desperate need.

Also in a democracy, not only will the electorate from the losing party cooperate to help the winning party achieve its “serving the majority” goals, the elected representatives will serve as an advocate for the entire region they represent first, before they serve their party’s partisan platform and objectives (currently it appears that priorities for such representatives is: a. be re-elected; b. be party faithful; c. serve the people who elected you and the region you represent).

The President of the United States, whether he or she is a Republican or Democrat, serves as the president of all Americans, not just those allegiant to his/her party.

In a democracy if the electorate is unhappy and legitimately disappointed in the incumbent people who represent them, they have the option to vote in someone else at the next election.

If the above criteria are not agreed or adhered to, I would postulate that a democracy doesn’t exist.

What do you think?


  • Mark Goulston, M.D.

    Author, speaker, podcast host, psychiatrist

    Dr. Mark Goulston is the inventor and developer of Surgical Empathy an approach that helps people to break their attachments to counterproductive modes of functioning and frees them to connect with more productive and healthier alternatives. He is the host of the “My Wakeup Call” podcast where he interviews people on the wakeup calls that changed who they are and made them better human beings and at being human and the host of the LinkedIn Live show, "No Strings Attached." He is a Founding Member of the Newsweek Expert Forum. He is one of the world’s foremost experts on deep listening, radical empathy and real influence with his book, “Just Listen,” becoming the top book on listening in the world, translated into twenty languages and a topic he speaks and teaches globally. He is an advisor, coach, mentor and confidante to CEO’s, founders and entrepreneurs helping them to unlock all their internal blocks to achieving success, fulfillment and happiness. Originally a UCLA professor of psychiatry and crisis psychiatrist for over 25 years, and former FBI and police hostage negotiation trainer, Dr. Goulston's expertise has been forged and proven in the crucible of real-life, high stakes situations including being a boots on the ground suicide prevention specialist and serving as an advisor in the OJ Simpson criminal trial. Including, “Just Listen,” he is the author or co-author of nine books with multiple best sellers. He writes or contributes to Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, Biz Journals, Fast Company, Huffington Post, Psychology Today and has appeared as an psychological expert in the media including: CNN, Headline News, msNBC, Fox News, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, Psychology Today and was the subject of a PBS special. He lives with his wife in Los Angeles, California.