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After reading Americas Constitutional Soul by Harvey C Mansfield Jr and The True and Only Heaven by Christopher Lasch I came to the realization that while they have varying ideas on many topics they have similar conservative views regarding citizenship and civil rights Specifically Mansfield discusses his belief that people are best served through a representative government and does not believe that all citizens should be allowed to rule directly Mansfield 141 In this regard Mansfield contends that people in general tend to be irrational and rely too much on feelings as opposed to reasoned conclusions Mansfield 29-30 Therefore if a true form of participatory democracy were practiced where all citizens have the right to actively participate in the decision-making processes Mansfield believes that our society would not benefit Mansfield in maintaining his views that citizens are easily swayed by their feelings instead of by intellectual reasoning believes that professional special interest groups that are savvy enough to capitalize on this human weakness would sway the votes of the majority and earn themselves a majority vote To combat this problem Mansfield believes as did our Founding Fathers when they created the Electoral College that a representative form of democracy is the more viable form of government which will better suit our society by assuring that rational unselfish decisions will be made which will ultimately be needed for the progression of our free and democratic society Mansfield 29-30 Furthermore in continuing with our discussion of citizenship I believe that Mansfield believes that through the use of formal government institutions citizens are able to rise above self-interest He points to the fact that our United States institution is an institution of formalized behavior This document requires that actions be formal According to Mansfield the United States Constitution is documented proof that citizens want self-government and that they have the ability through formal processes set up by institutions
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