Here's an article from Mic.com (April 2014) describing research by Gilens and Page to the effect that America does not function as a democracy, and hasn't for quite some time. They base their claim on statistical evidence of the people's will versus which legislation actually gets enacted. From the article:
"... they've found that in fact, America is basically an oligarchy.
An oligarchy is a system where power is effectively wielded by a small number of individuals defined by their status called oligarchs. Members of the oligarchy are the rich, the well connected and the politically powerful, as well as particularly well placed individuals in institutions like banking and finance" [or elite academia-ed.].
For their study, Gilens and Page compiled data from roughly 1,800 different policy initiatives in the years between 1981 and 2002. They then compared those policy changes with the expressed opinion of the United State public. Comparing the preferences of the average American at the 50th percentile of income to what those Americans at the 90th percentile preferred, as well as the opinions of major lobbying or business groups, the researchers found out that the government followed the directives set forth by the latter two much more often.
If true, it's beyond alarming. As Gilens and Page write, "the preferences of the average American appears to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy." In other words, their statistics say your opinion literally does not matter."
[…] "Perhaps economic elites and interest group leaders enjoy greater policy expertise than the average citizen does," Gilens and Page write. "Perhaps they know better which policies will benefit everyone, and perhaps they seek the common good, rather than selfish ends, when deciding which policies to support.
"But we tend to doubt it."
Read the full article to see more of their research data, but their findings fully support ours. Tragically, we couldn't agree more. That's why The Right to Nominate was written — to restore power to the people rather than leaving it with the parties, which serve mainly the connected, the wealthy, and (at the other extreme) vile-minded, abusive ideologues..
The Right to Nominate shows how the parties overturned the Framers' Constitutional design, and quietly took the sovereignty of the people away from them. This loss of sovereignty is the underlying reason the people are so unhappy, so disgusted with this corrupt form of government called the "party system"--which is not in the Constitution.
The Right to Nominate (pg. 166) provides an acid test that tells where sovereignty [i.e.,who is the real Boss] lies today. Sadly, it's not with the people. Sovereignty today lies with the parties and party leaders, who took it away from the people.
The acid test? Over 19 TRILLION dollars of debt, piled up over decades of "pork", "earmarks", and irresponsible borrowing. This huge and growing debt is something the people hate but have been helpless to stop. It now threatens to bankrupt our country.
Does that sound like "government of the people,"? Or "..by the people?"
The Right to Nominate says, "Behind this enormous, abusive debt is a bigger, uglier monster which must be faced: the Helplessness of the people to stop this fiscal abuse coming from ruling parties and their leaders."
Abuse of the Treasury was a party phenomenon the Framers knew well had destroyed a number of past republics.