Democracy is usually understood as the government, ‘of the people, by the people and for the people’. However, in the modern democracies where due to its large demography it is not possible for every citizen to take part in the decision-making process of the government, they elect their representative. This representative is then entrusted with the job of representing their interests, ideas and values.
Hence, the American provides for a universal adult franchise where every citizen has a right to cast this vote is a free and fair system. This democratic form of government provides a platform for representation of all sections of society. However, it should be noted that the first-past-the-post system of electing the representative allows a majoritarian rule where only those candidates winning maximum votes gets elected. The candidate thus doesn’t represent the entire section of the society but just the majority of its populace. I would like to elaborate my answer with the help of the analysis of the recent Donald Trump and the earlier Barack Obama elections and the importance that race and ethnicity play in it.
The victory of Obama in the year 2008 was momentous in giving America its first African-American president. Given the country’s bloody history with racism, it was a historical event. However, a brief analysis of this election will let us know that he managed to gain majority mostly in an African American dominated constituencies. Apart from the policies and programs that he propagated, the fact that he was the first African America nominated by played a huge factor influencing his victory.
When it comes to the recent election of Donald Trump, it was obvious that his victory was the result of the support of the working-class population (Red-necked) of the country. His victory reflected the aftermath of the economic crisis that hit America in the last half-decade and the growing resentment that the people in the manufacturing sector suffered from as the result of outsourcing. That he represented a certain ethnic community as important as his propaganda. Hence, in US voting behavior a candidate’s ethnicity does have a role to play but at the same time, it’s not the only factor that influences the voters.