Democracy in America: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens

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The three articles discuss democracy in America as achieved by the various groups. According to Madison (1961), large republicans offer more safety to property from the social complexity they produce through their diverse factions. He asserts that society is divided into two groups: the majority who lack property such as manufacturing, land, and commercial assets and the minority who own it. Gilens & Page (2014) claim that average and ordinary citizens and interest groups formed by the masses have little to zero influence on policy making. Their study found that groups representing business interests and economic elites retained a sovereign and significant effect on government policy. RepresentUs (2015) argues that lobbyists control the government by determining who ascends to power. All the readings claim that democracy does not protect the poor or minority groups, only the rich.

Regardless of the argument presented, each text has a shortcoming. Madison’s (1961) paper was politically inclined with the intent to influence the ratification of the constitution. Therefore, his arguments are directed by the primary intention of the writing and cannot be perceived as unbiased. Gilens & Page (2014) overlooked several facts existing during their time of the study. For example, later findings show that the rich and middle class agreed on most policies and bills and won almost half of the time they disagreed (Matthews, 2016). RepresentUs (2015) relies on diverse sources to make conclusions, which undermines the credibility of the arguments. For example, Gilens and Page’s study are one of the references and has already been discredited.

Regardless of their shortcomings, the reading raises questions about democracy and majority rule in America. Does the US democratic system really ensure a majority rule? Are the richest people in America influencing every government decision? Are there trustworthy groups that citizens can rely on, to tell the truth about democracy? Since a government of the people by the people has always been considered supreme, is it time to rethink the US form of government?

References

Gilens, M., & Page, B. I. (2014). Testing theories of American politics: Elites, interest groups, and average citizens. Perspectives on Politics, 12(3), 564-581. Web.

Madison, J. (1961). The Federalist, No. 10. In J.E Cooke (ed), The Federalist, pp. 56-65. The University of Chicago Press.

Matthews, D. (2016). Remember that study saying America is an oligarchy? 3 rebuttals say it’s wrong. Vox. Web.

RepresentUs. (2015). Corruption is legal in America. YouTube. Web.

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DemoEssays. 2023. "Democracy in America: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens." March 11, 2023. https://demoessays.com/democracy-in-america-elites-interest-groups-and-average-citizens/.

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DemoEssays. "Democracy in America: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens." March 11, 2023. https://demoessays.com/democracy-in-america-elites-interest-groups-and-average-citizens/.