Democracy And The Mass Media A Collection Of Essays

Democracy And The Mass Media A Collection Of Essays-57
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During the election of 1912, the progressive populists Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson insisted that the president derived his authority directly from the people.

Since then, the office has moved in precisely the direction the Founders had hoped to avoid: Presidents now make emotional appeals, communicate directly with voters, and pander to the mob.

When a department at Washington, or at a state capitol, or in the city hall in some big town is thronged with place-hunters and office-mongers who seek and dispense patronage from considerations of personal and party greed, the tone of public life is necessarily so lowered that the bribe-taker and the bribe-giver, the blackmailer and the corruptionist, find their places ready prepared for them.” Read more The people would directly elect the members of the House of Representatives, but the popular passions of the House would cool in the “Senatorial saucer,” as George Washington purportedly called it: The Senate would comprise natural aristocrats chosen by state legislators rather than elected by the people.

And rather than directly electing the chief executive, the people would vote for wise electors—that is, propertied white men—who would ultimately choose a president of the highest character and most discerning judgment.

He had spent the year before the Constitutional Convention reading two trunkfuls of books on the history of failed democracies, sent to him from Paris by Thomas Jefferson.

Democracy And The Mass Media A Collection Of Essays Websites For Short Essays In English

Madison was determined, in drafting the Constitution, to avoid the fate of those “ancient and modern confederacies,” which he believed had succumbed to rule by demagogues and mobs.10.” The Framers designed the American constitutional system not as a direct democracy but as a representative republic, where enlightened delegates of the people would serve the public good.They also built into the Constitution a series of cooling mechanisms intended to inhibit the formulation of passionate factions, to ensure that reasonable majorities would prevail.10” as a group “united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” Factions arise, he believed, when public opinion forms and spreads quickly.But they can dissolve if the public is given time and space to consider long-term interests rather than short-term gratification.The polarization of Congress, reflecting an electorate that has not been this divided since about the time of the Civil War, has led to ideological warfare between parties that directly channels the passions of their most extreme constituents and donors—precisely the type of factionalism the Founders abhorred.The executive branch, meanwhile, has been transformed by the spectacle of tweeting presidents, though the presidency had broken from its constitutional restraints long before the advent of social media.The demagogue Cleon was said to have seduced the assembly into being more hawkish toward Athens’s opponents in the Peloponnesian War, and even the reformer Solon canceled debts and debased the currency.In Madison’s view, history seemed to be repeating itself in America.After the Revolutionary War, he had observed in Massachusetts “a rage for paper money, for abolition of debts, for an equal division of property.” That populist rage had led to Shays’s Rebellion, which pitted a band of debtors against their creditors.Madison referred to impetuous mobs as factions, which he defined in “Federalist No.


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