One of the most pompous things that American governments like to do is describe its actions as the actions of “the people”. This has bothered me for a long time. 

While America does host elections and public participation is an important part of American government, it’s a serious misnomer to claim the actions of the government are the actions of the people, especially the body politics of a whole. Those who choose and are allowed to vote in our country set the guard rails for how both legislators and government employees act but citizens as a whole have very little say in the day to day operations of government. They can protest against the actions of their government and put elected officials on notice that they may be voted out of office but ultimately have very little say in the day operations of government.

Even American Democracy isn’t necessarily cracked up to what it claims to be at times. American elections are almost a choice between a Democrat and a Republican. There are primaries but they are only open to party members. And even if you have a candidate you like who becomes elected to office he or she is just a compromise. Your unlikely to agree with all of their views. And elections are full of rules and regulations that bend the will of the voters, so things are much less democratic then one might think.

I am not saying we should get rid of democracy, but I do think the actions of the state are not the actions of its people but are the result of actions of the many bureaucrats and the regulations they promulgate both formally and through practice.