Local Elections and the Politics of Small-Scale Democracy

By J. Eric Oliver; Shang E. Ha et al. | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

WHO GOVERNS AMERICA?

Many people would say the United States is ruled by the president—as the single office selected by all Americans and the head of the executive branch, the presidency commands more power than any other elected position in the land. Others might say that America is governed by Congress—with its ability to pass legislation, approve executive and judicial appointments, and exercise the “power of the purse,” Congress ultimately wields the upper hand in any political contest. Still others point to big corporations, unions, and other special-interest groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA) or the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).1 These groups “govern” America not only through the direct lobbying of the various branches of government, but also in their ability to shape elections. Because candidates for congress and the presidency are so dependent on the efforts and campaign contributions of such interest groups, they repeatedly bow to their preferences.

This debate is probably familiar to most readers. It has animated American political discourse since the writing of the Federalist Papers. It speaks to fundamental concerns over the distribution of power and popular governance. It dominates the coverage of politics in the popular media. And its focus on national politics encapsulates the way most people conceptualize American governance. But this debate also suffers from a major problem—it overlooks an enormous part of America’s governing structure.

Outside of Washington, there exists a largely unrecognized political entity that exerts an enormous influence on American society. It accounts for over $1.6 trillion in spending every year, roughly a quarter of the nation’s gross domestic product. It collects more

1 The amount of political writings on this topic are too numerous to document, but some recent notable examples include Bartels 2008, Hacker and Pierson 2010, and Frank 2004.

-1-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Local Elections and the Politics of Small-Scale Democracy
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 222

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.