Question 1 (NOTE: Please read the expert quote, below, before answering this question and Questions 2 and 3): Do you agree, or disagree, with Professor Balkin's statement that "our political system has become less democratic and less republican" (per his definitions of those two terms)?

(Introductory expert quote for Questions 1 through 3) In a recent speech, Yale constitutional law expert, Professor Jack Balkin, said: "Many people have wondered whether we are currently in some sort of constitutional crisis. We are not. Rather, we are in a period of constitutional rot. By 'constitutional rot,' I mean the decay of features of our system that keep it a healthy republic. Constitutional rot, which has been going on for some time, has produced our current dysfunctional politics. Constitutional dysfunction is not the same thing as gridlock -- after all, the three branches of government are currently controlled by the same party. Rather, it is a problem of representation. Over time, our political system has become less democratic and less republican. It is increasingly oligarchical. By 'democratic,' I mean responsive to popular will and popular opinion. By 'republican,' I mean that representatives are devoted to the public good and responsive to the interests of the public as a whole -- as opposed to a small group of powerful individuals and groups. When representatives are responsive not to the interests of the public in general but to a relatively small group of individuals and groups, we have oligarchy."