The unfortunately pragmatic nature of representative democracy has enabled its implementation into what were once righteous governments, and subsequently defiled their infrastructure. The combination of a representative democracy and an unrestrained civil service has diluted the American people’s power to nearly zero. Ironically, Americans see themselves as elite, democratic, and thus individually powerful. Abraham Lincoln concurred, saying in his Gettysburg address that the United States was a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.” This is quite easily refuted when realizing the success rate of congressional incumbents who sought reelection (in an average from 1984-2004) was 96%. In addition, the The United States Government is responsible for the employment of 19 million civil servants. 12 million of whom are located at the local level, 5 million at the state level, and 2 million at the federal level (Bureau of Labor Statistics). The amount of elected officials is infinitesimal in comparison, far less than 1 percent. Further exacerbating the situation, only 50% of the United States population vote in presidential elections, and only 37% vote in congressional elections, and a mere 30% participate in local elections (data360.org). However, regardless of Americans lack of civic duty, their overall control is negligible due the the monumental amount of civil servants in high positions of power.
I. Although a representational system may be ideal, the way in which the United States system works is not.
A. Of all currently known systems of government Democracy is ideal; a democratic-republic is practical for larger bodies.
B. By the time policy has reached implementation, its potency has the potential to amplify or languish depending on the hands it lands in. This change is at the discretion of the millions of implementors who were not elected.
C. All legislative, executive and judicial positions should be filled by the people. That means cabinet members and supreme court justices.
II. Elective representatives are easily corruptible, and are thus involved in collusions.
A. Representatives defy what may be just or moral in order to get reelected.
B. Representatives are not obligated to for-fill promises made during campaigning.
C. Representatives are not obligated to vote along with party lines, or even in accordance with their constituents
D. Representatives will exchange votes, regardless of their constituents views.
III. Elected representatives allows the public to belief they are in control.
A. It allows policy to be made in accordance with the peoples will.
B. It allows the government to adapt to an evolving political climate.
C. All major decisions are made by those who represent the people, therefore the people indirectly make every decision.
D. It is important to note that many other factors are necessary in maintaining a healthy constituent - body relationship, one of which is the media.
The aforementioned adjustments and compensations will ameliorate the United States’ deteriorating government. A decreased term length in a sectors and thus an increased frequency in elections would motivate politicians to implement their promises in a timely and visible manner as to impress the public. Demagoguery is inevitable, however reducing factions polarity may reduce the level hostility in bipartisan environment. Change is needed, but more than one would expect.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Career Guide to Industries, 2008-09 Edition, Federal Government, Excluding the Postal Service, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/cg/cgs041.htm (visited November 17, 2009 ).