Suspicion against majority rule influenced the design of our American governing bodies from the beginning. Now, rather than pure democracy, we vote for representatives to decide the important issues for us. We still call our republic a democracy despite that. The earliest advocates of it called themselves (or, were called) Democratic Republicans. Benjamin Franklin was one.
Why prevent direct involvement of the people in their government? Remember, in those days, mail went across the country on horseback. There were no TV’s, radio, nor Internet. In those days, the common person was regarded as too ignorant to understand the issues, let alone be aware of them. It was thought the country would fare better at the hands of people of proven intelligence dedicated to understanding the issues. The common people, after all, were those most often victimized by purveyors of snake oil and whisky. Like women and children, the common men would vote by their emotions. “Let reasonable gentlemen of culture handle things,” wisdom suggested.
Everything seems different today, but not all in good ways. Women and blacks can now vote, but common men are still as common as ever. Influence peddlers have flooded the government with snake oil. Separation of government from religion has been battered from the start, and cracks have started forming in the wall. The wise judges who once occupied the Supreme Court now appear to have been replaced by emotionally driven average Johns playing prostitute for religion and corporations. Any remaining ‘Gentlemen Of Culture’ have hidden in the boondocks and money-grabbing male harlots swished in to fill their vacuum. Having discovered how to keep dirt off their hands, they now represent only themselves and buy their own congressmen to look after their interests. As a result, America is now well on its way to becoming an oligarchy and we are now under minority rule.
I wonder what Mr. Clemens would have to say about that.