American Exceptionalism has long held that the US is different from Europe in that the US did not establish a robust socialist tradition. More generally, we could say that, since Alexis de Tocqueville, some have viewed the US as exceptional in its longstanding liberal democracy. Critics, of course, have argued that our democracy has been limited and indirect. Recently, we have seen two notable trends that bear on democratic practice in the US: a. increasing levels of income inequality; and b. declining public trust in major institutions.
In this essay, please answer in one or two paragraphs: What, if any are the implications of these trends for the future of American democracy? What would each of the major theories of democratization and democratic consolidation (modernization, structural, etc.) say about these issues?