Thomas Gordon Period 3 9/9/12 Distrust in the Constitution In America, everyone has questions. Some people have questions relating to which restaurant is good or what to wear to school, but other people have questions, better yet concerns, about the faithfulness of our Constitution. One main concern relates to whether or not the Constitution creates a “real” democracy, or just simply appears to be one. Many believe that distrusts can be found in the democracy, in popularly elected legislatures, and in the public, which then lead to the more elite groups to dominate our politics and policymaking systems.
In my opinion, our Constitution does indeed allow for this to happen. The first reason that, I believe, groups can be dominant is through the Electoral College. The Electoral College is in charge of one thing, and that is to induce provision for electing the President. The Framers were said to first discuss the idea of the Electoral College because of their distrust in the people. They thought that if they people had full responsibility in selecting their President, then they could be swayed by mob rule.
This was a bright idea by the Framers because it does indeed discard from one specific group from influencing the people’s vote. But is this true democracy? A true democracy takes the input of every citizen and applies it to society. But with the Electoral College, a person’s vote may not be of any use. Yes, every person’s vote is counted and they do count, but the Electoral College gets the final decision. There is a total amount of 538 electoral votes, and in order for a President to be selected, he must win 270 of those votes. That means that this basically disregards the 100 million votes of the people.
Now, that is why we have representatives, so that they can represent the political view of the state. But then again, there is no law that requires an Electoral to vote according to the results of the state. So an Elector can go completely against what the party favors. (This is very rare, but can happen) This doesn’t describe a democracy. The selected Elector can persuade the people’s votes, and therefore dominate them. Another reason to which our government has distrust is through the branches of government. There are three branches of government, Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.
These separations of power were designed so that no one branch could have ultimate power. A checks and balances system was created in the Constitution in order to keep that plan in tact. If an issue was to come up in a town and a law was wished to be passed, the first thing that must be done is it must be presented to the House of Representative and the Senate. Then, if by some miracle, the law gets approved by both of them, a Bill is created and sent to the President. There the President decides to accept the law or veto it. Now again, is this a true democracy?
The majority of a town could be in favor of a specific law, in which they are fighting for, but the law could be denied in the Senate or the House. The people’s opinion isn’t particularly instated, because of all the levels of government it must go through. A true democracy is the will of the people. In our system of government, which isn’t necessarily a bad one, our elected Representatives make the decisions. It doesn’t seem right that everyone can vote for a law to be passed, but later have it be shut down by either the Senate or the House.
The government becomes dominant in a society supposed to be ruled by the people. They come together and discuss what “they” believe to be the best thing for the community, but again, that isn’t always what majority of the people has voted. A democracyis described as a form of government in which all citizens have an equal say in the decisions affecting their lives. Basically, a society ruled by the people. The “democracy” we live in today wouldn’t be described by that. It is true that people display their input and party opinion by voting for a President in which they favor.
But the Electoral College has the final say in whether or not a certain President is chosen. The power to the people is gone. And also, we have different levels of government that help keep a democracy in tact. They are to watch over each branch and make sure one specific branch gains full power. But with these levels, a democracy ruled by the people is hard to maintain. For the people’s opinions must pass through the House, the Senate, and the President. This is not a “real” government, for in each of these cases, a dominant government rules.