The government of the United States was originally set up as a Federated Republic. Where as each individual state maintained some level of sovereignty, while being under the limited control of a federal body.
We exercise our power as a republic through democratic elections, to elect representatives for each state in the federation. The flaw in the system is what has been slowly exploited over the years to shift us from a federated republic to an oligarchy.
The flaw is that we allow representatives or even potential representatives to self select and then campaign. This system has worked out for us so far, or at least until this past presidential election. Whatever your personal opinion of our latest president is, it is not controversial to say he represents an oligarchical shift.
**Trumps cabinet is full of oligarchs and theocratic ideologues**
A look into the selections for presidential cabinet positions alone shows this shift. We have extremely wealthy people being placed in top positions of political power. Many of them with notable financial ties to the very people that get to decide their appointments. This is what signifies our shift to an oligarchy.
The self selection and extremely lacking campaigning restrictions has created a system where the super rich can essentially buy their politician. And they have then used their financial influence of these politicians to maneuver themselves into positions of power.
**Buying their way into politics**
We can see this in report released by edweek.org with the Trump pick to lead the Department of Education Betsy DeVos. The edweek.org report shows nearly a million dollars donated directly to the people in charge of voting to confirm her appointment.
She has many more ties to the party that has appointed her to this position, as well as the same people who will be signing off on her policy decisions in the future.
Her family contributions to the republican party total in the hundreds of millions of dollars. These contributions helped maneuver her into the position she finds herself today.
**Problems we need to fix**
The system was not intended to be this way, but it was set up to grow. And we the people have allowed it to grow this way. The blame for this is ultimately on the people.
The oligarchs have simply taken advantage of the system we created. The factors that led to this were a combination of complacency, uninformed voting population, and a general lack of education on these systems and how they work.
All of this sounds like a kind of conspiracy. Yet, rather than the elites sitting around hatching schemes we have just simply created the situations that people seeking power could take advantage of.
There is no indication that an oligarchy is necessarily authoritarian, but it could shift that way depending on the motivations of those in power.
As we stand today, we still have our freedoms, and now more than ever we need to exercise those freedoms to fix the problems we allowed to manifest.