The Importance Of Democracy In Peril: Eight Challenges Of American Democracy

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American democracy is under threat as discussed by both Matthew Spalding and William Hudson. In their books, We Still Hold These Truths: Rediscovering Our Principles, Reclaiming our Future and American Democracy in Peril: Eight Challenges to America’s Future, written by Spalding and Hudson respectively, they list their reasons for this view. One leans more conservative and the other liberal yet the both reached the same conclusion in that American democracy is going through troubling times. Spalding on one hand believes government should stick to the way that America was envisioned in the constitution by our Founding Fathers and that Americans should be self-governing. Hudson believes that government is doing too little legislating, should …show more content…
To Spalding people should govern themselves for the most part. Spalding believes in civic virtue being a large portion of this self-governing and that it helps with the type of government that the Founders envisioned. To Spalding moral self-government is the beginning of political self-government and that it’s much more important as it “completes political self-government…” (Spalding 2010, 136). Spalding talks about the four key categories of civic virtue. Spalding states that the Founders wanted people to be self-reliant with a lack of dependence on government and the rich. Second to Spalding the Founders valued qualities such as “courage, risk-taking, and competiveness” (Spalding 2010, 140). Third is that the Founders realized people must possess knowledge of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Fourth the citizens must have “self-restraint and a strong sense of personal and public moderation” (Spalding 2010, 142). The practice of these virtues to the Founders was a larger part of self-government and the base for a self-governed society. The families, as well as religious and social institutions, teach us these things. All this is in decline to Spalding because of the reliance on government by the citizens for everyday needs with expansive welfare systems and such but he didn’t get into great detail on …show more content…
All the modern regulatory bureaucracy created is difficult to hold accountable. The modern progressive theory of government shifts America from a “decentralized self-governing society” (Spalding 2010, 204) to a progressive society focused on “national ideals and the achievement of social justice” (Spalding 2010, 204). Spalding contends that progressive reform weakened the influence of institutions of civil society so that they could be replaced with “government- created and government-directed national community” (Spalding 2010, 206). Progressives embraced the “living Constitution” in order to enlarge government far past what the Founders intended. Spalding states that progressives saw the Constitution as a “barrier” (2010, 208). American democracy is under threat due to America moving away from the original constitutional design and

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