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We the People: The Consent of the Governed in the Twenty-First Century: The People's Unalienable Right to Make Law


The People of America love democracy. Americans do not love democracy because it is efficient; in some ways, other forms of government may respond more quickly. Americans do not love democracy because it is without problems; while a strong democracy will prevent the tyranny of the few over the many, it requires constant vigilance to protect individual rights from the tyranny of the many over the few. Americans do not love democracy because it is perfect—it is not; it is only as good as we make it. Americans love democracy because doing so is simply part of our culture; our shared love of democracy creates a bond that binds together our diverse people and our vast continent. Americans love democracy because it and it alone has the potential to provide a moral, fair, and just government. This is so because our democracy recognizes that the only legitimate source of governmental power comes from those subject to the government's exercise of power—the consent of the governed. Under our Constitution, neither the federal government nor the state governments are sovereign; nor do these governments somehow share sovereignty. In America, the People alone are sovereign; all governments (federal, state, and local) are mere agents of the People, subject always and in every case to their ultimate au-thority. As a result, democracy (popular sovereignty-majority rule) makes possible the creation of a society that fully embraces mutual respect for individual rights while allowing and encouraging just and fair collective action that benefits the overall society.