Excellent dissection of the modern system of governance, Mike. Democracy was supposed to, in substantial part, protect the rights of the average Jill and Joe from the excesses of the rich and powerful.
But of course the rich and powerful didn’t get that way or hold on to advantage by being stupid and non aggressive. So no matter what form of checks and balances are placed in front of them, they eventually figure out how to circumvent the system for personal advantage at a cost to the majority. In the end human nature wills out.