John Adams stated that “Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.” Federalists believed this, and fought verbal and written battles against the Anti
-Federalists, who disagreed with John Adams. Anti-Federalists
believed that in an elite democracy, the elite’s would get greedy and selfish, and only worry about themselves. As I’m on the Federalist
side, I believe that John Adams was correct in his statement, and that the government is only trying to uphold the rights and liberties that each citizen ought to have.
According to Elite Democrats, political representatives “should filter the views of the people through their superior expertise, intelligence and temperament”. Federalists were very intelligent when it came to people’s attitudes and personality. People are very self-centered and egotistical, only looking out for themselves. Having a spokesperson chosen by the people would help them with their problems, and to get their word across. In my opinion, elites who have studied politics in college, and who know the government well are obviously more intelligent than the citizens when it comes to representation. They would have a better understanding of what to do in a situation compared to the people.
Anti-Federalists believed that a representative should not “filter out” the people’s requests, but reflect on them exactly as the people asked. I feel this is totally incorrect, because if a person’s opinion is wrong, and it won’t benefit the country, then why should the representative follow through with it. Anti-Federalists are trying to appease the people instead of helping them and doing what’s best for them, even if the people disagree with it. That’s why the representative must be educated, and “have a good head on his shoulders”.
Elite Democrats believe that the majority of people are not interested in politics as much as their interested in their own private lives and wellbeing. People aren’t concerned with politics unless it pertains to their own lives, which is what the Anti-Federalists believe. However, I disagree that if people don’t feel like getting involved with government and politics, it’s not the democratic system’s fault. In my lifetime, I’ve observed that people didn’t involve themselves in politics until a tragedy happens, or if they want to place the blame on someone. Part of people’s nature is that people like to find scapegoats to take the blame away from them. When it comes to the country’s problem, the government, and especially the president get blamed for everything.
Federalists feel that the kindness and honesty is only found in the elites. I believe that’s only true when it comes to government and politics. As we’ve seen, when people disagree with an event or a choice by the government, they get violent. As many of the founding fathers believed, debates between people would inevitably end in mob rule. The only way people know how to get their opinions across when they aren’t heard is through violence, which is unacceptable. The founding fathers were worried about the people overthrowing the government. I’m not saying that only elites are kind and honest, because through experience, America has seen some not so caring and truthful elites, but they were elected by the people. So whose fault is it when the elite don’t cooperate with the people’s wishes? The people are the one to blame, but even still, the constitution gives power to impeach and get rid of the elite.
As I stated before, the government is put in place to protect its people’s rights and liberties, and due to different abilities, democracies must deal with inequality. The Anti-Federalists believed that the government should minimize inequalities some how, as to not threaten the republic. How is the government supposed to regulate people’s inequalities? Every person is different. We all have different abilities and talents. People also obtain different levels of education. People who don’t attend college, or don’t work hard in high school are destined to a low-paying job. The government can’t regulate the people’s willingness to be successful. Even if the people make a mess of their lives, the government has created programs, such as welfare, to help them survive in society. The government can only do so much.
Both the Federalists and Anti-Federalists put forth great points about democracy and republic, but in the end, the Federalists came up with a better form of government. They were much more coordinated and organized than the Anti-Federalists. To give some credit to the Anti-Federalists, the Bill of Rights has shown to be very important to upholding people’s rights and liberties. James Madison and the rest of the founding fathers demonstrated the need for a republic, instead of a confederation through the federalist papers. Madison’s work and beliefs can be proven through the observation of America’s government today, which has lasted more than two hundred years. As previously stated, the government’s not here to appease the people, its here to make sure that order is kept and that people’s rights are protected.