Skip to comments.Walter Williams: America Isn't a Democracy. In Fact, the Founders Feared Democracy
Posted on 02/09/2020 4:37:36 PM PST by BulletBobCo
During President Donald J. Trump's impeachment trial, we'll hear a lot of talk about our rules for governing. One frequent claim is that our nation is a democracy. If we've become a democracy, it would represent a deep betrayal of our founders, who saw democracy as another form of tyranny. In fact, the word democracy appears nowhere in our nation's two most fundamental documents, the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. The founders laid the ground rules for a republic as written in the Constitution's Article IV, Section 4, which guarantees "to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government."
John Adams captured the essence of the difference between a democracy and republic when he said, "You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights derived from the Great Legislator of the Universe." Contrast the framers' vision of a republic with that of a democracy. In a democracy, the majority rules either directly or through its elected representatives. As in a monarchy, the law is whatever the government determines it to be. Laws do not represent reason. They represent power. The restraint is upon the individual instead of the government. Unlike that envisioned under a republican form of government, rights are seen as privileges and permissions that are granted by government and can be rescinded by government.
Here are a few quotations that demonstrate the contempt that our founders held for a democracy. James Madison, in Federalist Paper No. 10, wrote that in a pure democracy, "there is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party or the obnoxious individual."
At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Edmund Randolph said that "in tracing these evils to their origin every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy." Alexander Hamilton agreed, saying: "We are now forming a republican government. (Liberty) is found not in "the extremes of democracy but in moderate governments. ... If we incline too much to democracy, we shall soon shoot into a monarchy."
John Adams reminded us: "Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."
John Marshall, the highly respected fourth chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court observed, "Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos."
Thomas Paine said, "A Democracy is the vilest form of Government there is."
The framers gave us a Constitution replete with undemocratic mechanisms. One constitutional provision that has come in for recent criticism is the Electoral College. In their wisdom, the framers gave us the Electoral College as a means of deciding presidential elections. That means heavily populated states can't run roughshod over small, less-populated states.
Were we to choose the president and vice president under a popular vote, the outcome of presidential races would always be decided by a few highly populated states, namely California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania, which contain 134.3 million people, or 41% of our population. Presidential candidates could safely ignore the interests of the citizens of Wyoming, Alaska, Vermont, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Delaware. Why? They have only 5.58 million Americans, or 1.7% of the U.S. population. We would no longer be a government "of the people." Instead, our government would be put in power by and accountable to the leaders and citizens of a few highly populated states. It would be the kind of tyranny the framers feared.
It's Congress that poses the greatest threat to our liberties. The framers' distrust is seen in the negative language of our Bill of Rights such as: Congress "shall not abridge, infringe, deny, disparage, and shall not be violated, nor be denied." When we die and if at our next destination we see anything like a Bill of Rights, we know that we're in hell because a Bill of Rights in heaven would suggest that God couldn't be trusted.
They also feared a foreigner in the Oval Office as Commander in Chief.
That’s why they insisted on a natural born citizen.
Someone who was naturally and solely an American with no possibility of being anything else because they were born here of citizen parents.
Yes, we are suppose to be a republic, a nation of laws. Many confuse republic with the idea of representatives.
A democracy is a mob changing daily as their emotions change.
Our founding fathers created an inefficient government with lot of checks and balances, making it hard to change.
We appear to have screwed it up......................
The Constitution of the United States was republican and democratic but the experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short-lived; and it was obvious that if virtue the virtue of the people, was the foundation of republican government, the stability and duration of the government must depend upon the stability and duration of the virtue by which it is sustained.
-John Quincy Adams
The Jubilee of the Constitution
Thank you Mr. Williams.
Thank you thank you thank you!
It really bothers me when people on the Right reference our Democracy. The Democratic party loves it. They derived the name of their party from that premise.
We are Republicans who wax on about the well being of the Democracy. It just drives me nuts to hear that sort of thing.
A well known guy does this too, as in the Doctor of...
And God love him, because I sure do.
We should hammer home the fact that we are a Constitutional Republic, so citizens come to see that has a hard fast never changing fact.
We pray for and wish for the protection of the Republic,...
One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
A democracy is two foxes and one chicken voting on what to have for lunch. It is also the majority party in the House of Representatives voting on impeachment for no valid reason. Too bad our founders did not make the requirement for impeachment to be a super majority.
We are a Representative Republic.
The dems want a democracy so bad they poject one upon ux, acting as if we were one.
Any time you hear the words “our democracy”, stop, purge your brain of everything said up to that point, and ignore what comes next.
“Walter Williams: America Isn’t a Democracy. In Fact, the Founders Feared Democracy”
Unfortunately it’s a majority rule cluster Obama (as Virginians are finding out the hard way).
Yes we were. Here's the new Dem party on that topic:
Start at 16:50
See my previous post.
They have completed their mission. See my previous post
The Founders also didn’t have women voting.
If they had, there probably would have been a “Consensus Council” in the Federal Government and a “Forum of Grievances” or some such structures. If you’re going to be honest with yourselves, you should be fully honest. They looked through history at governments of men, governing men to come up with what they did. I don’t know of any government on Earth that was designed around the direct participation of women, and to say that men and women are without difference and interchangeable is idiotic.
They also didn’t have men voting until they were half dead, too, for what it’s worth.
Walter Williams should have been appointed to the SCOTUS...
A brilliant conservative with his background in economics would have introduced a much needed balance that would include the real-world economic needs in order for the United States to protect the Constitution and to restore the Republic (long gone these last 114 years)...
Technically we are a “Constitutionally mandated democratically elected representative republic”.
Hence the democratic party
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