Hugh Wyndham writes:

While I do not disagree with Jerry Nockles' description of American democratic ambition, the present state of American democracy is in fact parlous, with several Republican state governments or legislatures adopting measures explicitly designed to limit the voting in forthcoming elections of the young, the poor and uneducated and the old — people who typically vote Democrat.

The proportion of American voters who believe President Obama is Muslim has, during his term in office, risen from 15% to 19%. There is still a so-called 'birther' movement seeking to prove that President Obama was born in Kenya. I could go on to enlarge the list of current insanities soiling American democracy. American society has become very polarised. It worries many Americans of good will. It should worry us.

Of course, the 'do as I say, not as I do' philosophy began early. The preamble — 'We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness' — is magnificent, but no one told the slaves about it or seemed to think it applied to them!