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Democracy in the Constitution
No fondness for it. Founders doubted the ability of ordinary Americans to make informed judgements about what the gvt should do.
Traditional Democratic Theory
Equality in voting (1 person 1 vote); effective participation (equal opportunities); enlightened understanding (free press and speech); citizen control of agenda; inclusion (gvt includes ALL)
Must not violate minority rights
Elite and class theory
Public policy does not represent public interest
Groups have become sverign and government is merely their servant. Gvt can't placate all groups, so gives in to every interest and single-issue group.
Too many ways for groups to control policy
Challenges To Democracy
Increased technical expertise (to make well informed decisions); limited participation in gvt; excalating campaign costs; diverse political interests (resulting in policy gridlock)
American Political Culture
Hold American democracy together. Consists of liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, laissez-faire, and populism.
A Culture War?
Polarization of divisions a major problem. On the other hand, other scholars say that people are growing more centrist
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