Johns Hopkins study finds significant gap in demographics, experience and partisanship between Washingtonians and the Americans they govern.
“Official Washington views the public through jaundiced eyes, believing that ordinary Americans are uninformed and misguided and that policy makers should ignore them,” Ginsberg says. “The government’s lack of trust in the people reflects the civic distance between the American people and their government as much as any political reality. Nevertheless, what the government thinks of the people affects how it governs, especially the chance that policy will be influenced by citizen preferences.”
“Some say American democracy would be strengthened if the people received better civic education,” Ginsberg continues. “We argue that it is America’s governing elite that needs civic education, focusing on the responsibilities of officials in a democracy. ...