While talking about failed states and failed democracies, Western academics often leave an impression as if such phenomena could exist only outside their region. “Indeed, from Uganda to Rwanda, Africa is now paralyzed by the rise of a new, but not necessarily better, form of government – failed democracy,” writes Joshua Kurlantzick in Boston Globe, November 2008. He goes on to define failed democracy as a form of government “in which a country holds elections but does not develop other institutions.”
It's a very good observation that some countries may be carrying out the drill of elections without getting substantial benefit out of it but Kurlantzick seems to have restricted his area of inquiry to African states. Otherwise he might have noticed that failure to “develop other institutions” is not the only kind of failure known to democracies. Surprising as it may be, the United States of America would appear to be the prime candidate for failed democracy if a study barred no holds.
Such a study is unlikely to come from the academics, and perhaps it would be better if general public drew their own conclusions from otherwise well-acclaimed researches. For instance, The Israel Lobby (2007) by Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer. The book, actually based on a paper published by the same professors earlier in London Review of Books, suggested very emphatically that the electoral process in the US was dominated by a lobby promoting the inetersts of Israel at the cost of American interests, and even at the cost of American lives. No president could come to power without getting endorsed by this lobby, nor stay in power without its blessings.
Reworded more tersely, it would appear that although the US President is duly elected, yet in actual fact he is an "appointed" Viceroy of Israel ruling over the American nation in the interest of the foreign country.
If this is true (and the people of America would know that better), then the necessary conclusion would be that America is a democracy only in name. In real fact, it is a failed democracy. Is it?