How Democratic Is the American
Robert A. Dahl
The American Constitution, seen by Americans as guiding light and bedrock of civil rights and democracy is as Robert A. Dahl argues not so democratic and does not guard the rights of individuals. P.18 Dahl places his work asking fundamental questions as to the use and application of the constitution in the modern world, not as an attack as Gordon S. Wood from New York Review of Books clearly states on the front cover. Dahl merely and humbly is asks Americans to deeply reconsider their much loved constitution. P.122 The work is extremely relevant as it delivers an extremely bold insight into this sacredly held text.
Dahl examines the constitution from an historical perspective and draws on modern examples to illustrate that it is, in fact not as democratic as it could be. Even though he holds the Framers in a positive light, Dahl deduces that they were ill experienced to truly deliver a democratic constitution since they had no real models from history to consult and emulate. He furthers examines the possibilities of a changing the constitution, one that would better serve the people even though he realises that three to four structures will not change in the foreseeable future. To which Dahl suggests are Federalism, Presidentialism, Inequality in representation and the Electoral College. P’s.143-145
Argument and Evidence
Dahl starts by asking what he believes to be a simple question, “Why should we Americans uphold our Constitution?” p.1 this is not as simple it could be argued as what Dahl would have us believe. However, it is the question that needs to stay in the mind of the reader when you discover the arguments of this text. In that the Constitution is undemocratic and outdated and that has worked in manners to which people like Madison did not intend, for instance political parties and the election of president by electoral college to which...
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