Stephens and Wikstrom present a brief history of changes in our federal system since our founding as a nation. They argue that we now have a “defacto plutocracy masquerading as a democracy.” Do you agree or disagree with the comment provided. Explain your answer Kuhner’s article stated, “[w]hereas democracy is a political system based on equal participation by the multitude, plutocracy is a system dominated by the riches of an affluent minority.” (479). I would argue that while we indeed have Democracy that I do see characteristics of a Plutocracy as well in the US political system. In Stephens and Wikstrom’s (2007, 18) comment in their textbook, they stated that a group of “privileged white property owners” were in power and responsible to revising the Articles of Confederation. They stated the Senate was to be a sort of “aristocratic arrangement” (Stephens and Wikstrom, 2007, 18). We have supposedly moved in a more democratic direction as far as representation, but I can think of an example of a former Louisiana Senator from my parish that had characteristics similar to our founding fathers. Noble Ellington was educated and a wealthy land owner. His private resources and community influence made it more likely he would get elected and stay in office than the typical everyman that is represented in the population and does not have such resources. Kuhner also used Donald Trump to argue that the US political system is becoming less democratic and “politically equitable”, and he states “only such a financially extraordinary figure as Trump could bring to the presidency countless conflicts of interest, a family business dynasty eager to leverage its newfound political power, and an inner circle of millionaire and billionaire advisors” (479). Kruhner also demonstrated further political inequity with how millionaire candidates like Trump can utilize their practically endless resources and influence to inoculate their campaigns (478). How can an everyman complete in such a campaign and have a chance at election? More than likely he cannot. Also, I learned that in the Supreme Court decision McCutcheon v. FEC “the Watergate- era limit on the total amount of money each individual donor could give to political campaigns” was struck down further increasing the political inequality in America for candidates. I do agree that we have a “defacto plutocracy masquerading as a democracy”.

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