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278 s4s4s4s4s4 c h a p t e r 1 How It Can Be Strictly Said That in the United States It Is the People Who Govern In America, the people name the one who makes the law and the one who executes it; the people themselves form the jury that punishes infractions of the law. Institutions are democratic not only in their principle, but in all their developments as well; thus the people name their representatives directly and generally choose them every year, in order to keep them more completely dependent. So it is really the people who lead, and, although the form of the government is representative, clearly the opinions, prejudices , interests, and even the passions of the people cannot encounter any lasting obstacles that can prevent them from appearing in the daily leadership of society. In the United States, as in all countries where the people rule, the majority governs in the name of the people.b This majority is composed principally of peaceful citizens who, either by taste or by interest, sincerely desire the good of the country. In constant motion around them, parties seek to draw them in and gain their support.c b. In the margin: “⫽An action external to society exercised on society resembles the medicine that often aids nature but still more often harms it. Despotism often appears useful, but I mistrust its benefits.⫽” c. Cf. note a of p. 402. ...


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