By convention, a democratic nation has two emblematic characteristics, that is, both the election of its political leaders and the decision-making process at national level have to be democratic and transparent. If any one of the above elements is missing, a nation will not be considered a democracy but at best, a half-democracy and half-autocracy. The U.S. is such a nation.
Lets take a look at the U.S. electoral process of its political leader, namely, the President. Is it transparent and democratic? The truth is there. Why was George W. Bush (known as Bush hereafter) nominated for the U.S. Presidential Election? Was he smart? Was he noble? Or was he academically superior? Is (Are) there any job requirement(s) for the U.S. President? Who decide(s) the presidential nomination? There is no clear answer or perhaps those who know it choose to be skingy with the truth. If not, how could undeserving average Joes or fat cats have made it to the White House? These are areas where the U.S. democratic processes are far from being democratic and transparent and to the extent of being autocratic. This proves the point that the U.S. is a half-democratic and half-autocratic nation. While the U.S. election adopts one man, one vote system, this should not be equated to democracy. After all, one man, one vote system is just one of the many elements of democracy.
One could notice two bright spots in George W. Bushs resume. He is a graduate of two universities from the Ivy League, namely, Yale University and Harvard University. We could cast light on the Presidential nomination process by studying Harvard Universitys and Yale Universitys recruitment processes.
Liu Yongs article on Who do Harvard University recruit? (Duzhe (Reader in Chinese), Issue 21, 2008) wrote : No one knows exactly what the Ivy League are looking for when they recruit. Most importantly, schools like Harvard and Yale have ambitions to produce graduates who could influence the World. Their top choice of students includes the Arabian Princes, the British Monarchy and the scions of senior officials." Especially the Arabian Princes, they gain admission by birth rights instead of academic results.
Now we know why an idiot-slash-playboy like Bush could make it to the Ivy League. As long as you are born to the purple, you can enter Harvard University and/or Yale University regardless of your academic standings. By the same token, Bush was nominated not based on his moral merit or political ability but on his power, prestige, connection and/or other political advantages. And this is American-styled democracy.
I will not go through the numerous examples of how the U.S. President has eluded the United Nations pn global matters and how he has skirted around the Congress and the Americans to implement unpopular policies, acting much like a dictator. The reason mentioned earlier is sufficient to prove that the U.S. is a half-democratic and half-autocratic nation.
At this point, some may question how a powerless second-rate actor Ronald Reagan managed to become the U.S. President. Let me throw back the question. Why did a second-rate actor Ronald Reagan make it to the White House but a first-rate actor didnt? Could he have done it without connection and/or political advantage? Can one deny the intransparency and corruptibility of the nomination process simply because a second-rate actor had made it to the Presidency? Just like the fact that Harvard University and Yale University have exceptional students does not imply the Ivy League recruit their students in an overt, fair and transparent manner. Ultimately, some Grey Cardinals pick and choose at their own discretions. Is this not dictatorship?