The US prides itself on the strength of its democratic institutions and considers itself a leader in the promotion of democratic values around the globe.
One golden standard of successful democracy is whether its political decisions and institutions adequately reflect the will of the people.
But what exactly is this will of the people? The will of the people can be a very elusive concept. Is it the sum of constituent preferences or is it something beyond that? And why is it so revered?
This article by John Elledge criticizes how we often think that the will of the people makes everything right. He highlights how fickle and erroneous the will of the people can be.
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Democratic systems of government are supposed to reflect the interests of ordinary citizens, and not some shadowy political elite.
Liberal democracy has its problems, including the fact that in trying to build consensus, it often ends up oppressing minorities or those who dissent.
John Dewey is regarded by some as the American philosopher.
Jürgen Habermas is regarded as one of the last great public intellectuals of Europe and a major contributor to the philosophy of democracy.