American Democracy Was Never Supposed to Work

 [We] do not have a democracy, and not because Trump undermined it but because the framers of the Constitution did not create one. They felt the Articles of Confederation left too much power in the hands of economic populists in the states, and so they constructed a system meant to serve and protect the rich. The Constitution was designed specifically to prevent, as James Madison put it in the Federalist Papers, “an abolition of debts” or “an equal distribution of property” from passing into law.
Nearly two and a half centuries on, the antidemocratic provisions of the Constitution are still working as the framers intended. Even in an era of global capital, the wealthy benefit from a sclerotic, dysfunctional government. When early election results suggested a Joe Biden presidency with Republicans maintaining their grip on the Senate, the Associated Press reported that “stocks rallied on Wall Street as investors embraced the upside of more gridlock in Washington.” Divided government, these investors seem to think, will derail what Madison called “wicked or improper projects”: the abolition of student debt, higher taxes on the wealthy, the Green New Deal.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s