In order to understand how the American government works, one must address
the questions, who governs and for what purpose. However, the obvious answer may not
be the correct one. Many may think that those who govern are the people or perhaps
politicians. In actuality, there is no definite individual or particular group who governs.
Instead governing is a process, which involves several groups (voters, candidates, parties,
executive officials etc) who carry out the policies of the people by bargaining,
supporting, and compromising. The purpose of those who govern is to bind society in
law. The Constitution provides legitimacy for the government's purpose, ensuring the
rights of the people, as well as, protecting those who are governed from being dominated
by those in power.
One of the most important components of the American government is
democracy. Democracy is relevant to who governs because it shows that one individual
does not govern and although "the people" may elect someone, the process of getting
there and the process of staying there involves other institutions that prevent too much
power. Democracy involves political participation, voting, and citizen participation.
Thus, one can say that every institution or individual governs in various ways and for
different purposes. The American government follows Participatory democracy or
representative democracy. The president is elected to serve the interests of the people.
He represents the will of the majority, just as the title suggests. He is authorized to make
decisions, but he alone does not have full control. In an essay concerning civil
government, John Locke describes how a government functions. According to him, the
only way a government can exist is when the people individually consent to the power of
the government under majority rule. In order for a government to exist the people must
submit to the government...