No political system is ideal or perfect, but the Founding Fathers, in their wisdom, set up a system of checks and balances to attempt to achieve a fair balance in the passage of a budget, an ordinance or a law, and in overall governance. The three branches of government, the legislative, judicial and executive, are to act as a balance on each other, to prevent any one branch or elected person from becoming too powerful.
And in reality, the media was given unbridled freedom of the press, and has protection for their sources, so as to act as a fourth check on the powers and execution of the government and its representatives. The republic is at its ‘best’ when there is a balance of power between the legislative branch and the executive branch, meaning no (neither) party has control of both, and the judicial branch interprets as well as rules on the laws and actions of the other two branches based on the Constitution, rather than on prior cases (Case Law); while the media, or press in all forms, acts as a watchdog and does its due diligence on reporting and investigating the news as well as the actions and legislation of the three branches of government, as well as the politicians and judges involved.
This ideal is exactly opposite of what we are seeing transpire in Washington right now.
The United States is not a democracy, where the majority rule, but rather a republic, in which legislators have been chosen to exercise their best judgment on behalf of the people they represent. Democracy, as a form of government, is utterly repugnant to—and is the very antithesis of–the traditional American system: that of a Republic, and its underlying philosophy, as expressed in essence in the Declaration of Independence with primary emphasis upon the people’s forming their government so as to permit them to possess only "just powers" (limited powers) in order to make and keep secure the God-given, unalienable rights of each and every Individual and therefore of all groups of Individuals. The Federal government is only supposed to have limited powers and all others, not specifically given it, are retained by the states and the people.
The chief characteristic and distinguishing feature of a Democracy is: Rule by an Omnipotent Majority. In a Democracy, The Individual, and any group of Individuals composing any Minority, have no protection against the unlimited power of The Majority. It is a case of Majority-over-Man. This is true whether it be a Direct Democracy, or a Representative Democracy. In both the Direct type and the Representative type of Democracy, The Majority’s power is absolute and unlimited; its decisions are not appealable under the legal system established to give effect to this form of government. This opens the door to unlimited Tyranny-by-Majority.
A Republic, on the other hand, has a very different purpose and an entirely different form, or system, of government. Its purpose is to control The Majority strictly, as well as all others among the people, primarily to protect The Individual’s God-given, unalienable rights and therefore for the protection of the rights of The Minority, of all minorities, and the liberties of the people in general. The definition of a Republic is: a constitutionally limited government of the representative type, created by a written Constitution–adopted by the people and changeable (from its original meaning) by them only by its amendment–with its powers divided between three separate Branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Here the term "the people" means, of course, the electorate.
It is because we are a Republic and not a Democracy that we have an electoral college for our Presidential Elections, instead of electing them by popular vote.
This is why when you see Progressive type legislation placed on the ballot for the people to be able to vote directly on certain types of legislation or budgets, it is unconstitutional and should be challenged.
The first genuine and soundly founded Republic in all history was the one created by the first genuine Constitution, which was adopted by the people of Massachusetts in 1780 after being framed for their consideration by a specially chosen Constitutional Convention. (The so-called "Constitutions" adopted by some States in 1776 were mere Acts of Legislatures, not genuine Constitutions.) That Constitutional Convention of Massachusetts was the first successful one ever held in the world; although New Hampshire had earlier held one unsuccessfully – it took several years and several successive conventions to produce the New Hampshire Constitution of 1784. Next, in 1787-1788, the United States Constitution was framed by the Federal Convention for the people’s consideration and then ratified by the people of the several States through a Ratifying Convention in each State specially chosen by them for this sole purpose. Thereafter the other States gradually followed in general the Massachusetts pattern of Constitution-making in adoption of genuine Constitutions; but there was a delay of a number of years in this regard as to some of them, several decades as to a few.
This system of Constitution-making, for the purpose of establishing constitutionally limited government, is designed to put into practice the principle of the Declaration of Independence: that the people form their governments and grant to them only "just powers," limited powers, in order primarily to secure (to make and keep secure) their God-given, unalienable rights. The American philosophy and system of government thus bar equally the "snob-rule" of a governing Elite and the "mob-rule" of an Omnipotent Majority. This is designed, above all else, to preclude the existence in America of any governmental power capable of being misused so as to violate The Individual’s rights–to endanger the people’s liberties.
The method of writing, promoting and passing legislation being used presently absolutely goes against a Republic form of government and side-steps the balance of power. The progressive movement in the United States, that has member in both parties but more so in the Democratic party, has lobbied for and slowly but systematically circumvented the ideals of the Founding Fathers, the Constitution, the system of checks and balances and the will of the people. Add to that a media corps that is enamored with certain candidates and leaders that has replaced hard-core journalism with constant opinion reporting and you have a breakdown in the system that could have serious repercussions.
We are seeing bills written and lobbied for by the executive branch and then passed by a Congress under pressure and bribes, in an environment where one party already had control of two branches or government. Then we have an executive branch that by-passes Congress if their wishes or bills are not passed by using executive orders and czars like never before and by using federal agencies to enact their policies. Then we have a Supreme Court that is being filled with justices that feel that social justice, case law and public opinion are to be factored into their decisions instead of ruling based on the Constitution. And we have a media that is either enamored or afraid of the people presently in power, so they do not report the news and when it is reported it is not reported objectively. The executive branch has even gone to using an in-house media group rather than using the White House press corps, which completely circumvents that check on their actions.
The short explanation is that having seen the government under a monarch and then after experiencing early on, in some colonies, the tyranny of a the majority, the Founding Fathers set out to create the closest thing to a fair system for the common man that represents all, not just the majority, as they could.
In a democracy it only takes the majority vote of half of “the people” plus one, to pass anything, so the majority always wins. In a republic you have a system of representative government that allows for fairness and a constitutionally limited representative type government, created by a written Constitution and adopted by “the people’ that is only changeable (from its original meaning) by them, by its amendment, with its powers divided between three separate Branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial, and a Free Press as a watchdog. Here the term "the people" means, of course, the electorate. The representation is divided equally; two federal Senators per state and federal representatives as well as electoral college representatives based on population. All rights, delineated in the Bill of Rights as well as all those that are ‘not’ explicitly given to the state(s) or the Federal government, remain those of the people.
The best thing what Americans can do is to read the Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights, learn the differences between a democracy and a republic, insist that law schools go back to teaching Constitutional law instead of case law, teach our kids real and accurate history and insist that our Constitution and laws be followed as written and designated by the Founding Fathers. We have a government, at all levels, that have far exceeded their powers.