Populism and Elitism: Politics in the Age of Equality

Populism and Elitism: Politics in the Age of Equality

Populism and Elitism: Politics in the Age of Equality

Populism and Elitism: Politics in the Age of Equality

Synopsis

An extraordinary insightful look into what really is at stake in the '90s. Populism and Elitism clears away the clutter of outdated labels and reveals what are the real opinion forces today. --Robert Novak

Excerpt

Michael Barone

Co-Author, The Almanac of American Politics

We the people are the first three words of the Constitution of the United States. They seem a curious choice to those still influenced by the thesis, disproved by later historians but disseminated through a host of secondary sources, that the framers of the Constitution were rich creditors bent on increasing their net worth. But for those with ears for what Lincoln called "the mystic chords of memory" they ring true. the elite who created the government of the United States believed that they could speak legitimately only in the name of a people each individual of whom was putatively equal. (Of course for the Framers the people consisted of only white males; the inclusion of others under this happily elastic term would take time and bloodshed, but would happen.) the framers understood that the offices in any government must of necessity be filled by an elite. But they also sensed that government must in important ways be responsive to the people. They built into the politics of our country, and hence of the dozens of countries that have followed our example over the last two hundred years, a tension between elite and public opinion which is sometimes greater, sometimes lesser, but never entirely absent.

That tension is the subject, broadly speaking, of Jeffrey Bell's . . .

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