Although the Presidential election is over a year away, politics is all around us, and with that in mind, I include an original story written for our local "writers' group." Hope you enjoy it.
An Unforgettable Incident
Too Much Democracy?
Founding Fathers at Work
When the United States Constitution replaced the loose confederation of the thirteen former colonies, now States, in 1789, only the House of Representative reflected the democratic idea of the people electing their Representatives in Congress. Each Congressman (there were no women in Congress then) represented a supposedly equal number of voters. (Slaves were counted as 3/5 of a voter, somewhat doctoring the formula in favor of the southern States). This “democracy,” however, did not extend into the Senate where the States’ legislatures appointed two Senators for each State, which was not a representative method either in terms of numbers or as a reflection of the will of the people. It took 124 years until the Seventeenth Amendment (1913) provided for the direct election of Senators, but still, two of them from each State, regardless of population, is obviously not democratic.
In that sense, too much democracy can be a dangerous thing. The reins which the United States Constitution provides on democracy, through the division of powers among Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government, as well as the powers left to the individual States, and the existence of the Presidential Electoral College, are good things.
Without such a balancing of powers, which still are derived from the people although not always directly so, we might be more exposed to the dangers of unfettered democracy, where the donkey that brays the loudest gets first crack at the bale of hay.