With Election Day 2018 recently behind us, now is a good time for us lawyers to think about the gap between the ideals and reality of American democracy.
A gap between American ideals and American reality has always existed. At our founding, almost 250 years ago, we declared all men created equal but kept millions enslaved and did not allow women to vote. Since then we have boasted of our country as a land of equal opportunity and meritocracy, but even today inherited wealth and alumni legacies create vast economic disparities not based on individual merit or talent. And now we have yet another yawning gap between the ideals and reality of a fundamental American conceit: democracy itself.
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