And its role
What is a common theme?
This idea of the few making judgements and decisions for the masses, with the perspective of the few rather than all is a common theme in all four texts.
"It does not keep the country free. It does not settle the West. It does not educate. The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way." -Thoreau "Civil Disobedience"
Today we see a desire for politics to be for the people, which entails by the people. This can be seen in the success of Trump and Carson in the national polls for the presidential election. Trump and Carson stand for the actual American population, at least more so than candidates such as Clinton, Sanders, and Rubio. Dr. Carson and Mr. Trump embody the American dream, something the American population can relate to and achieve. However, the majority of politicians now embody corruption and removal from what is actually happening. Their disconnect from the population creates conjectured judgement. This is because they are not "in touch" with the general American public, and they make decisions for the masses, while they are the very few.