Predators? Get elected to a legislative body and get offers of money and more.
The USA has never been a democracy.
If your defense is that it is a representative democracy, then ask who legislators represent.
It is more than an oligarchy; it’s an oligarchy with opportunities for plutocrats and kleptocrats.
It will remain that until the nation and every state, territory and overseas colony has the direct initiative and referendum.
Chuck, has any government anywhere ever been ruled by all of its people? If you haven’t already done so, check out the “iron law of oligarchy” in Wikipedia.
Kleptos? I think it reasonable to conclude that all governments everywhere have some thieves doing what thieves do.