Primaries in the United States are decidedly undemocratic. The only way a person can get to these primaries is with millions of dollars of donations to run for election. It is impossible for the "average joe," to participate in the primaries, other than casting a vote. No one new gets into the system, so we are stuck each and every time now.
The purpose of a democracy is to reflect the will of the general public. It is my belief that the primaries, a very important step in America's democratic process, is not adequately democratic. There are two reasons why I believe this.
First of all, leading candidates are chosen by the leaders of their party, not by the voting public. While the public does get a chance to vote on nominees in primary elections, monetary support and endorsement have already been given by party leaders. This creates an environment where a lesser know, but possibly more capable, candidate has little chance of consideration.
The second reason I believe that the primaries are not adequately democratic is because there is little to no focus on third party candidates. Democrats and Republicans are given almost all of the media and political attention. This creates an environment where people assume they only have two options, when actually they have many. Or people may be pressured into throwing their support behind one candidate from one of the major parties, even if they don't fully support that candidate's message, because they would rather that person win than the other front runner.