Opinion

Our ‘democracy’ not living up to founders’ ideals

Contained within the words of Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence is a fierce indictment of the English king based upon what Jefferson referred to as “a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.” Those days saw a fever in the country nurtured by a desire, raw within the multitudes, for autonomy from what they saw as the dictatorial rule of a king ostensibly theirs. Though in truth they were subject to the whims of a body composed of many, it was the one upon whom the crown laid that drew their fury.

Independence from that detested monarch was a goal reached after several years of bitter fighting had come to a momentous end. On the nature of the rejoicing that occurred, we today can only speculate, yet on the fact of that rejoicing there can be no dispute. Citizens of the United States achieved something close to independence. Those residing within the boundaries of the new state were given the opportunity to participate in an oft-failed social experiment dragged from the dustbin of history under the name of democracy. They could rule themselves and, skeptical though some were, most were happy about that prospect.

Such an apparatus as was needed to secure the liberty of the ruling people was put in place. Yet that apparatus was to rule only with the consent of a certain majority of the people, as expressed through their elected representatives. It was to carry out the daily functions of government in place of the people with the understanding that public opinion would act as the true head of state.

Between that day and this new and different age the American citizenry arrived at the conclusion that true self-rule was simply too difficult. Instead of trusting the representatives they elected to carry out the policies that they had concluded were most advantageous for the country’s welfare, they ceded all decision-making power to those they placed in office. Those for whom the status quo was disadvantageous could not organize to make their voices known, so the beneficiaries of stagnation could spend each year making sure that they put petty tyrants into office across the land. The apparatus now makes our decisions for us. We need only choose what faces we will have present us the decisions of the tyrant Washington.

September 14, 2008

Reporters

Andrew Hamner

Opinion Columnist


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Even after snagging Ohio State transfer Tate Martell, UM has remained highly aggressive in its pursu ...

As the NFL’s conference finals were unfolding Sunday, Manny Diaz – the UM coach who doubles as a soc ...

The University of Miami womens’ basketball team made sure North Carolina fans didn’t get to celebrat ...

Throughout the four years he spent as a tackle for the Miami Hurricanes, Tyree St. Louis never consi ...

Finally, a marquee home game for the University of Miami men’s basketball team, a game big enough th ...

The University of Miami brings together leaders in academia, professional practice, and industry to ...

On Dec. 14, 2018 universal health care programs in both the United States and Mexico were dealt sign ...

For the first time in more than 15 years, two of UMTV’s weekly shows were nominated for the Televisi ...

Miami Transplant Institute performed 681 transplants during 2018, setting a new national record in k ...

Jazz aficionados launch new video series by sharing invaluable performance techniques. ...

The Miami women's basketball team will play its highest-ranked opponent of the season thus far ...

Beatrice Mompremier of the Miami women's basketball team was named the ACC Player of the Week, ...

The Miami women's basketball team defeated North Carolina for the fourth consecutive year with ...

Former University of Miami soccer standout Phallon Tullis-Joyce has officially signed a professional ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team improved to 3-0 on the season following a 6-1 triumph ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.