Essay Example on How Elite Theory Describe the US

Published: 2023-01-04
Essay Example on How Elite Theory Describe the US
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  United States Political science Government
Pages: 2
Wordcount: 520 words
5 min read

The elite theory posits that a small number of people majorly the wealthy and well-educated control political decision making. Alexander Hamilton, the advocate of elite theory, argues that participation in politics should be restricted to a small group of highly-informed people who can make the best choices for all citizens. In the US the elites play a significant part in the decision-making process of political issues. This paper will describe how the elite theory describes the US system of governance.

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The influence of elite democracy is evident today in the organization of the Electoral College. The Electoral College is a group of highly-informed people that checks the suitability of a candidate independent of the majority vote. Although the citizens elect their suitable presidential candidate, the Electoral College checks on the prospective domination of the majority. The Electoral College is the final decision making entity in a presidential election. In the history of the US, there are about three cases where a candidate won a presidential election with a majority vote but failed the Electoral College vote, thus failing the presidency. This shows that the primary decision was made by a small group of people in the Electoral College. Thus the US is an elite democracy.

Most US politicians are highly educated and graduates of prestigious universities. The elite theory asserts that the wealthy use their economic power to control a country's economy such that those with little power cannot advance economically. Wealth and political networks permit the elites to get important political positions which they use to allocate resources for themselves and make decisions that favor their agenda. This system allows politicians to lobby funds for themselves and not for the benefit of the electorates.

About one-third of all US presidents have attended prestigious schools when compared to other ordinary citizens. For example, the five recent US presidents attended Ivy League schools or prestigious East coast universities such as Yale, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, and Harvard Universities. This indicates that a significant number of US presidents and senior politicians attended quality universities. Moreover, half of the congress members are wealthy businesspeople. Thus, when making laws, they look unto those that are favorable to their agenda.

The media is used by the elites to promote their political agenda. The elites majorly depend on the media to pass on the required information to the citizens. For example, when certain legislation that attracts public interest is about to be discussed the elites fund the media so that the information can be disseminated to the citizens. Thus, the elites ensure that their agenda is made public and thus easier for adoption. As such, the media's role is to spoon-feed people with information and agenda from the elites.

The US system of governance can be best described using the elite theory. A few educated and wealthy individuals have the responsibility of influencing and controlling major decision making. For example, the Electoral College decides on presidential election independent of the majority will. Moreover, the US Congress is comprised of highly educated and wealthy folks. As such, they control and influence major decisions that the government makes.

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