Posts Tagged ‘democracy’
By listening to the current political debates in this country, one would believe that America has turned into a forest of wolves. Should we have a public healthcare option, should we send more troops to Afghanistan, should we curb executive compensation, etc. These questions, unfortunately, seem to hinge on the idea that America is a democracy. The democratic form of government is a complex creature. It is regarded today as the American form of government, which the rest of the world should strive to emulate. However, this form of government touted as civilization’s greatest accomplishment by our leaders today was despised by those who founded our country.
True liberty activists describe democracy as the worst form of government imaginable for one major reason: the majority always gets their way. The American system of governance was formed to keep government under control. Congress was given the power to vote on specific issues, and the rest were left up to the states or the people to decide. Article 1 Section 8 of the US Constitution lists 18 powers on which Congress has the authority to legislate. There are only 18 powers because the founders did not want a government that could vote on anything they wished. However, due to deceptive propaganda, most Americans believe our government to be ruled by majority vote, and that Congress has the authority to vote on anything the majority finds necessary.
I am always blown away to hear of our country’s unfailing support of democracy around the world. Not only do we support democracy so vehemently, we are willing to topple elected governments in order to install a “glorious” democracy among other countries. While these goals sound noble, even while having disastrous consequences, it is important to point out that not even the United States was meant to be a democracy, at least not the kind people speak of today.
If you asked any American what kind of government we have today, what would be their answer? More than likely, democracy would be the first word from their lips. This may be somewhat true in today’s America, but sadly it was not the intent of the founding fathers. The word democracy is not even found in the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution clearly affirms that every state in the union is guaranteed a Republican form of government. Benjamin Franklin described democracy as, “two wolves and a lamb deciding on what to have for lunch.” Alexander Hamilton said, “Real Liberty is not found in the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments. If we incline too much to democracy, we shall soon shoot into a monarchy, or some other form of dictatorship.” John Adams is quoted, “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” Clearly the founding fathers had something against democracy, and rightfully so.
While some people can argue the point, the fact is that most see democracy as a majority rule type of government. In other words, mob rule; whatever the majority wants, must be right. Therefore if 70% of people feel that Christianity should be the only allowed form of religion in America, that would be considered right and placed into law. Same situation if the majority felt that no religion should be practiced. Obviously, just because the majority agrees, that doesn’t make it right.
A republic form of government has leaders elected by majority that are bound by a set of rules. Those rules cannot be breached, as it is against the law of the land. Therefore, there are some things the majority cannot touch, no matter how well intentioned they may believe they are. Some people could say that the type of democracy we have is also bound by laws. To which I would pose the question, “For how long?” We already have groups who want to ban guns. We have groups who want to institute universal healthcare. We have groups who would like to give the president Congress’s power of declaring war. We have groups what would like the government to illegally tap our phone lines. All of these are unconstitutional, and illegal in the United States of America. So how much longer will it be before people start believing that this country should be ruled by what the majority of people believe to be right? Winston Churchill said it best, “The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.”
In his article, Republic? Democracy? What’s the Difference, Alexander Marriott claims there are two types of people who support democracy. The first are those who actually support a republic form of government, and are just too ignorant to understand the differences. The second are people who are in the majority and therefore will be able to vote themselves benefits. Our country should not support groups, no matter how large they are. Our country was founded on individual liberty, and each citizen’s individual freedom should be protected.