TFD Stocks Overview

Are ‘the people’ of US ready for democracy?

Greg Cusack

In his address commemorating the bloody Civil War battle fought at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in 1863, Abraham Lincoln said that the government of the United States was by, for, and of the people.
But what can this actually mean in a nation with 326 million people spread out over 9.8 million square kilometers? Moreover, given the questionable wisdom displayed in such decisions as Brexit and the election of extreme candidates in certain regions, is it even desirable that “the people” be in charge?
Two books that offer substantially different perspectives by which to ponder those questions are Nancy MacLean’s “Democracy in Chains,” which focuses on the political theory and efforts of those who distrust majoritarian democracy, and Christopher Achen’s and Larry Bartels’ “Democracy for Realists,” which demonstrates how citizens’ rosy belief in the “folk theory of democracy” is belied by actual voter behavior.
In MacLean’s account, it is the relatively obscure political economist James Buchanan whose writings and organizational efforts made an important contribution to the plutocracy’s rise to power in the second half of the 20th century.
Like other conservatives, Buchanan believed that the federal government’s growing regulatory powers were interfering with, and constraining, those who made the greatest contributions to America: the “productive class” of risk-taking businessmen and their corporate organizations.
Buchanan also recognized that this expanded federal bureaucracy was far from being a neutral player in the political arena, as such agencies – created to, for example, ensure food and drug safety or protect the environment – would inevitably assist citizens championing the same causes, further tipping the scales against the productive class.
‘Wealth creators’
Not only did Buchanan, therefore, like all other modern conservatives, advocate for a smaller, less intrusive government, but he also concluded that because majoritarian democracy was inherently imbalanced against the “wealth creators” there was an urgent need for an effective counter-force.
In taking this line of thought, he was echoing the prominent pre-Civil War congressman John Calhoun who most forcefully expressed the fears of wealthy Southern slaveholders about growing Northern sentiment against the slave system.
It was Calhoun who developed the theory of a concurrent majority that would allow the propertied minority to have veto power over proposed actions that would deprive them of their rights. Buchanan, MacLean notes, likewise concluded that it was imperative to find ways to put “legal – indeed, constitutional – shackles on public officials so … (that) they would no longer have the ability to respond to those who used their numbers to get government to do their bidding.
“Once these shackles were put in place, they had to be binding and permanent. The only way to ensure that the will of the majority could no longer influence representative government on core matters of political economy was through what he called ‘constitutional revolution’.”
Despite the obvious intent of the Right to implement precisely this kind of minority control over government, the Left has yet to articulate either a clear picture of the Right’s goals and methods or a coherent alternative argument in support of true majoritarian rule.
If they are to do this successfully, they will need to address the clear weaknesses of what Achen and Bartels, in “Democracy for Realists,” call the “folk theory” of democracy. This democratic myth maintains that “the people” are capable of rendering wise decisions on complex issues because they possess innate common sense, take the time necessary to become acquainted with political candidates, are informed about important issues, and use their morally informed values when deciding upon which candidates to support.
Herded by manipulators
Through this process the wishes of the majority become government policy.
Unfortunately, however, numerous studies spanning many years have revealed that the vast majority of voters are, in fact, startlingly ill-informed, unable to accurately distinguish facts from biased misinformation and, because they are motivated more by partisan and tribal loyalties than thoughtful assessment of issues, easily influenced and herded by skillful manipulators.
Furthermore, the vast majority of citizens have little or no say in the decisions reached by members of Congress who are beholden, instead, to the pocketbooks of the wealthy elite.
Importantly, however, these studies also suggest that current voter behavior is a symptom of the real problem: that the United States has become a plutocratic republic in which a minority governs!
The “average citizen” apparently well understands that – because the wealthy dominate policy formulation and candidate selection, the primary voting system consistently advances more extreme candidates to the general election, and voter suppression efforts and partisan-gerrymandered districts are all designed to undermine the actual views of the majority – their voice and vote have little if any impact.
From this perspective, low levels of citizen interest and participation in elections are actually a rational response to rituals that lack substance.
“In the United States, we have drifted far from the view of the Founders that popular sentiment needs to be respected, but also tempered and refined by experienced, well-informed political judgment,” Achen and Bartels write.
“The Founders were neither elitists nor populists; they sought a balance.”
In truth, we have allowed our political system to deteriorate and become corrupted.
We have allowed the political parties – and the numerous well-placed and well-financed groups that fund them – to create a state of affairs in which candidates are rigorously vetted according to primarily ideological and partisan expectations.
The last thing this state of affairs can produce are men and women possessing a “well-formed political judgment” capable of “tempering and refining” popular wishes.
I believe the US desperately needs to reinvent “federalism” for our own time.
Too much power has moved to the federal level, especially to the executive branch, and the Congress has repeatedly abdicated its constitutionally derived powers to other political actors.
In accordance with the concept of subsidiarity, we should re-examine which functions could best be handled at the state or regional level, thus bringing important matters closer to effective oversight by “the people.”
But we also have to tackle the mechanisms that have allowed corruption to so badly mar our political process, including:
1. Eliminating the dominance that the wealthy elite currently possesses by severely restricting the amount any single individual, corporation, or third-person entity can contribute, and instead substituting election funding from public funds.
2. Replacing partisan primaries with general elections using ranked-choice voting, also known as preferential voting, a process that will elevate moderate voices over the extreme fringe.
3. Making Election Day a national holiday so all have the freedom to participate.
4. Ending all voter-suppression efforts of any kind and expanding educational and transportation options for citizens in need.
5. Recognizing the great dangers hate speech and intentionally false speech pose to stable and diverse societies.
The agenda is daunting, but the cost of continuing to do nothing is the irrevocable loss of the Republic.
The author was a member of the Iowa State House of Representatives and also served in the Iowa executive branch. He retired in 2004. -Courtesy:

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonfutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbetbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩaAG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88

Leave a Reply