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Princeton Concludes What Kind of Government America Really Has, and It

The news: A new scientific study from Princeton researcher Martin Gilens and Northwestern researcher Benjamin I. Page has finally put some science behind the recently popular argument that the United States isn't a democracy any more. And they've found that in fact, America is basically an oligarchy.

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First off, we are not a democracy. We are a democratic republic--the word democracy isn't even in the U.S. Constitution.  Next, while this study sounds true in a certain context, it's not--it just feels that way.  The reasons... more »First off, we are not a democracy. We are a democratic republic--the word democracy isn't even in the U.S. Constitution.  Next, while this study sounds true in a certain context, it's not--it just feels that way.  The reasons for this are many and wide ranging.  All kinds of fingers will start to point in all kinds of directions. Yes, we have a super wealthy few at the top and their apparent limitless greed and selfishness is truly staggering. We have a media that relentlessly reports sensational information regardless of content, context, impact, scope, meaning--all the while dripping with overt bias. Our politicians showcase run-a-way egos, unrelateability, a complete lack of accountability while chasing a career that requires much more time to acquire and maintain the job than is spent actually preforming the duties of the office.  | In my mind, it's the general apathy of the American public that is causing this break in what our Republic was founded on.  We no longer aspire to a selfless and altruistic character--we are becoming a country of self-absorbed opportunists. We are blessed to have all the fruits of freedom and liberty, but a waining desire to fight for those rights. We spend so much time taking for granted and enjoying our country that we hardly can spare any time to remember why we have it in the first place, or what we must do in order to maintain it. Our selfishness and individuality all too often trump our sense of community in our day to day lives. In a world such as this, is there any wonder the vacuum in our countries leadership is being filled with those who best epitomize the characteristics of the people they are leading? However, with all that being said, the United States of America is not a oligarchy. It is, was, and always will be a republic. It's up to the people, not a few aristocrats, to maintain our republic. If we fail, then it will cease to be a republic, but we haven't--not yet. 11-12-2014 3:15pm

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Comment by Greg

Given our "blessings" and relatively speaking how "good" the majority of us have it, how to prevent the greed and self centered nature from becoming dominant forces that drive all behaviors?  Can we rely on individuals to aspire to... more »Given our "blessings" and relatively speaking how "good" the majority of us have it, how to prevent the greed and self centered nature from becoming dominant forces that drive all behaviors?  Can we rely on individuals to aspire to something greater than themselves?  Those are intrinsic values, and from where do they originate and why?  | I found this which clearly explains the differences between a democracy and republic: http://www.diffen.com/difference/Democracy_vs_Republic | and this: | http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/AmericanIdeal/aspects/demrep.html | with this quote I find particularly interesting from Madison in regards to a republic  "As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust: So there are other qualities in human nature, which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence. Republican government (that of a Republic) presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form. Were the pictures which have been drawn by the political jealousy of some among us, faithful likenesses of the human character, the inference would be that there is not sufficient virtue among men for self government; and that nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another."  | Have we reached this point? 11-13-2014 8:08am

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