Sumner, Wilson, Reagan, and Obama Essay (Critical Writing)

August 17, 2021 by Essay Writer

Apart from the constitution, one important area where several leaders differ is in the area of the role of government to its citizenry. In this regard, opinions have been divided from those on the extreme ends of the divide to those treading the middle ground. William Graham is one such voice who believed that the government is bad for the freedom of the American citizens.

A contrary opinion was given by Woodrow Wilson who did not just believe in the nobility of a government but demonstrated through creation of strong institutions that indeed the government has a role to play in chatting forward the citizen’s agenda.

In this work, I take the view that while government has at time proven to be the very burden, the citizens need to be protected from, when run in line with the constitution and with a series of critical checks and balances, the government can be a masterful servant of the people (Dolbeare and Cummings, 2010).

The American history is rich on philosophies and thoughts on modes of governance. The past is an embodiment of several differing points of view concerning governance and other related policy issues.

It is indeed a study in intrigues looking at the great minds that determined the American thought process. In essence, America has a great constitution almost paralleled by none all over the world. It must truly be the emergence of these different opinions that informed the cautious, yet generous give and take that characterized the constitutionalism process.

This is indeed was the view shared by our fore fathers and the great founders of our nation as envisaged in the constitution. The truth is that the founders of our great nation did not liberate us to leave the citizens to the whims of the raging winds of developing ideas. Much as our collective responsibility and personal responsibility has been the pillars of our great state.

We remain great because of a sense of unity. There is no other means of uniting American citizens more than under one national flag. It is the evidence of the philosophy of democracy as a government of the people by the people for the people (Dolbeare and Cummings, 2010).

It is our action as a united government that has enabled America to stand firm during and after periods of great challenges and peril. In the face of a growing threat from the Soviet Union and the worst depression America has ever had, it was the rallying of the American people through the brave acts of the federal government that President Reagan achieved a turnaround of the economy.

In 2013, in Obama’s second inauguration, the circumstances were almost as similar as those of the early 1980s. His appeal to the American citizens to rise up and reclaim their place in the world has contributed to the positive signs of recovery currently being witnessed (Obama, 2013).

Even though William Graham had been vehement in his tearing into the idea of democracy and equality among the American citizenry, his appeal does not make sense in the face of the very foundations of the constitution. If we have to revert the ideals embodied in the American constitution, then we must agree that the people may not always be right but we must protect that individual right to be different on a foundation of equality.

It is important though that a government must be able to take care of its citizens. In the absence of strong controls, governments have a tendency to be plutocratic and such a stance may erode the very benefits governments are supposed to protect (Dolbeare and Cummings, 2010).


Dolbeare, K.M., & Cummings, M. S. (2010). American Political Thought (6th ed.). Washington, D.C.: CQ Press.

Obama, B. (2013). Second Inaugural Address. Retrieved from

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