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Democracy In America Essay

1529 words - 6 pages

Democracy is a unique type of government, and the purpose of this essay is to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses that a democratic government provides. I will detail that many components of this type of society are both strengths and weakness as each component has beneficial aspects as well as unavoidable pitfalls.
A democracy is a government by the people, in which the power is vested in the people themselves. The people then elect representatives who conduct their power in a free electoral system. The Declaration of Independence, which says that all men are created equal, was written on the premise of a democracy.
According to John Locke, who wrote The Social Contract, before acknowledging that an individual is part of a specific government format, such as a democracy, one must understand that being an individual in society means you personally agree to partake in a social contract, which is basically an outline for the rules, standards, and conduct of that society. But what makes this a democracy is that people have conflicting views and are free to share them. In actuality, the citizens may or may not have agreed to partake in the social contract, however, they are still bound by the rules of the democracy. Once it has been established that there is a desire for a society to exist, debate over what type of government (if any) may commence.
The core concept of democracy is actually ‘equity’, rather than ‘equality’. Equity is a term which stresses the fact that while it is true everyone has equal opportunities, the conditions in which those opportunities are pursued are different for each and every individual. Equality is a term implying that everyone has the exact same opportunities, pre-existing determinants, ability, value and rank. Using the equitable standard, punishment for crime is viewed depending on the nature and scale of the crime committed. The laws of society are applied equally to everyone, but equitable to the circumstances. The same holds true for taxes: those with higher incomes pay a larger percentage of their income in taxes than those in lower tax brackets. Although not equally applied, the tax laws are equitable. Democratic laws are written in such a way as to allow interpretation depending upon circumstances. “A thousand circumstances, independent of the will of man, facilitate the maintenance of a democratic republic in the United States”
Initially, laws are difficult to design because lawmakers can’t think of every possibility, every scenario, and every obstacle that may present itself in the democracy. Despite these difficulties, laws keep society together and provide unity for the citizens. Advantages for creating laws, include, but are not limited to, providing direction for the collection of taxes, declaring clear expectations for compliance and punishment of citizens and elimination of chaos.
A weakness of democracy is the “Tyranny of the Majority”. This is an inevitable pitfall,...

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