The Founding Fathers Rejected Democracy

The Founding Fathers universally rejected democracy and hoped that posterity would never turn the United States into one. The word they used was “Republic,” which is not synonymous with “Democracy.” The word “Democracy” is not in the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights. Even the Pledge of Allegiance is “to the Republic for which it stands.”

Benjamin Franklin defined democracy as “two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”

So why did they reject Democracy? Because it is inherently flawed with the “share the wealth” philosophy, which only works as long as there is someone else’s money to share. Those receiving are quite pleased with getting something for nothing. But those forced to give are denied the right to spend the benefits of their own labor in their own self-interest, which creates jobs no matter how the money is spent. They also lose a portion of their incentive to produce.

Fraser Tyler, author of The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic authored more than 200 years ago said it best. “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.”

Where does the money come from for all the “good” that government does? Answer, out of someone else’s pocket. If it is with his consent it is a form of charity. If forced, a form of tyranny. The more and the longer given, the more entitled the receiver becomes until he is quite willing to take to the streets and demand more of other people’s money, fully satisfied that he has every right to it. This works until those who have money are destroyed as a class and everyone is equally poor. The result is a diminished standard of living for everyone, as was the case under 20th Century communism.

A Democracy gives us the principles of majority rules and frequent elections with options, but little more. It does not protect us from the government’s redistribution of wealth philosophy, which entitles the less productive to get something for nothing.

A Republic includes frequent elections with options. It also gives place to majority rules, but only to a point, for as your mother told you growing up, the majority is not always right. A Republic is also based upon natural unalienable rights that come from a source higher than man (for example life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.)

Minority rights are protected from the majority in a Republic. A lynch mob is Democracy. Everyone voted but the man being lynched. A Republic rescues this man gives him a fair trial with a bona fide judge and witnesses for his defense. In a Republic there is an emphasis on individual differences rather than absolute equality. Such individual differences are seen as a strength in a Republic rather than as a flaw under Democracy, which equates sameness as equality.

Limited government is also a major aspect of a Republic. The government is handcuffed from dominating our lives. There is a list of functions and a clear process for obtaining additional power. Finally, there is a healthy fear of the emotion of the masses, destabilizing natural law upon which real freedom is based.

The Founders created a Republic, not a Democracy. The Constitution, as designed, is the mechanism to ensure we stay a Republic. We must demand from our leaders a strict adherence to that document in order to preserve our liberty, and that of future generations.

1 Comment

  1. Alan

    June 30, 2010 at 8:59 am

    It is amazing how distorted definitions can be used to create a perception. The people who actually produce the fundamental requirements – food shelter and security for people are in fact the least rewarded. The creation of mythical money (which was not possible in the 1600-1700’s in most countries) has become the basis for “wealth” creation for those who do not contribute one iota to the fundamental requirements of humanity. Yet they take more “money” from “pot” in one minute than those who actually produce, can derive in a year.

    The so called “communists” of Russia were in fact not in favour of a democratic system. The Russian revolution was initiated by a small group who wanted a democratic system based on a “commune”. They were ultimately in military conflict with the people who later ruled Russia. Lenin and later Stalin were primarily interested in taking over the role of the aristocracy. Just as the French revolution was started by people who sought to get a “fair” form of government, they were fairly rapidly replaced by a group whose sole purpose was their own power and wealth. The perception depends more on how you want to define Democracy. The Greeks never practiced it even though we have been told repeatedly that they invented it. I have seen genuine democracy practised, but only in a community that was little advanced from the hunter-gatherer stage. Everyone could have a say, but the elders were more likely to have influence because they had more experience of life. A fundamental difference between them and the “civilised” people is that they shared – we try to grab the lot.

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