The United States was founded as a Republic and not a true democracy. The men who created the government were certainly aware of the limitations they placed on representative government since they went to lengths to limit the franchise.
What am I bid for this institution?
The limitations placed on democracy exist today and are emphatically apparent in the make up of the Senate, a decidedly undemocratic body. Consider, for example, that the 500,000 or so people who live in Wyoming have two representatives in the Senate while the more than 36 million citizens of California are represented by the same number. Given this unbalanced situation small, conservative states with a minority of the population can dominate the government, a condtion that is unlikely ever to be remedied.
And now with the growing influence of a powerful, monied elite – a veritable new American aristocracy – whose conquest of the government is all but complete, the claim to democracy, weak as it has always been, is banished for good.