The Dysfunction of American Politics: How the Debasement of the American Citizenry has Facilitated Political Chaos

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Despite dysfunction proliferating the workings of its institutions, the American political system continues to function as originally designed: to limit government control beyond the basic protection of liberty. At face value, the dysfunction of the American political system is guilelessly attributed to party polarization. Yet, political faction, according to James Madison, is not necessarily a bad thing. Instead, he argues in The Federalist that it is an essential and effective feature of a properly structured government. Bessette and Pitney, Jr. support the idea that “strong partisanship…can be healthy for deliberation and democracy” (296). In Federalist 51, Madison suggests that because of human nature’s shortcomings coupled with the…show more content…
At the turn of the twentieth century, the American political system moved away from the model of a representative democracy to a direct democracy. In 1913, the sixteenth amendment to the constitution provided Congress the power to tax incomes, which laid the foundation for the progressive tax system. In the same year, the seventeenth constitutional amendment allowed for the direct election of senators by the constituency, rather than by Congressional appointment (Bessette and Pitney, Jr. 630). Martin Diamond describes the ancient science of politics as “[disastrously]…clinging to illusions regarding how men ought to be” and not “[taking] man as he actually is” and (38). In this way, Diamond highlights the age-old Federalists versus Anti-Federalist debate. The Federalists, like Madison, were realists: they took into account the shortcomings of human nature, whereas the Anti-Federalists were idealists and sought after an idyllic goal. The political paradigm of the Rubik’s cube illuminates the complex, overlapping relationship of four separate political dimensions: individuals, interests, ideas, and institutions. The four dimensions of the analysis define the relationship among the facets of politics as an operation of individuals within institutions that mediate different ideas and interests. In an analysis of the Rubik’s cube example different from the original, the individual is the core of thought, the source of interests, and the composition

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