Sunday, June 29, 2008

“...and to the Republic for which it stands,”

Why America is NOT a Democracy

A great deal of Americans of all ages can in all likelihood remember being told by their grade school educators that The United States of America is, and was established as, a democracy. Further, one may remember learning that majority always has and will rule in America.  But one only need look to the 2000 presidential election to see the folly in that argument.  If majority rule (feeling), or “mob rule” as some people refer to it, was the deciding factor in every governmental and election process that we have in America today, then Al Gore would have been our president from 2001 to 2005 (and possibly beyond).  If a simple majority was all that was ever needed in our nation, then a presidential veto would be meaningless.  Undertaking a simple, yet also in depth study of current and historical American politics and thought can lead any American toward a realization of one simple reality:  our nation is not, nor has it ever been a democracy.  Many scholars and historians have stated that democracy in its purest form(s) was suppressed by the founding fathers, and that certain items over time have served to slowly turn this nation from one that was never was a democracy, into one which becomes more democratic by the election cycle.

The answer to the simplest of questions, “If The United States of America is not a democracy, then what form of government have we actually had?”, is not an easy one to explicate.  Many, from Patrick J, Buchanan, to Rep. Ron Paul, and former Texas Republican Party Vice Chairman David Barton, contend that The United States was founded as, and has ever been, a free republic.  These men and many others like them, contend that the founding fathers of this great nation were terrified of democracy to the point of even referring to it as “mobocracy”.1  The evidence that they put forth is quite compelling.

Our founding fathers were at what was to that moment the apex of their nations’ history.  They had defeated what was arguably the most powerful military and government in the world at the time, and were now about to embark upon a journey which would forever determine the road on which their young nation would travel.  They knew what they didn’t want in their government; tyranny and monarchy, and to a somewhat lesser degree aristocracy and oligarchy.  They had an undeniable opportunity to found this nation as a pure democracy, a government in which the people at-large would reserve the right to decide everything for themselves.  The founders chose a different path, making it quite clear that we were not, nor were we ever to become, a pure democracy.  Founding Father James Madison even said, “[D]emocracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been in their violent deaths.”2  Similarly, James Adams has been quoted as saying, “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, former United States Supreme Court Chief Justice seconded Adams’ statement, saying; “Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.”  And historian Charles Beard can even be quoted as stating; “When the Constitution was framed, no respectful person called himself or herself a democrat.”3

Ultimately the problem with a pure democracy is that it lends its’ all to an ideal of almost childlike faith in the wisdom and goodness of “the people.”  History has shown that the wisdom of the people ought to be met with an air of caution and even distrust.  “The People” have in many instances supported some of the worst kinds of persons and policies in world history.  The people were giddy to lend their support to the guillotine in the French Revolution, to Hitler and Nazism and the Nuremberg Laws.4

Instead, our founding fathers created a form of republic, as opposed to a simple democracy.  They distrusted the wisdom of the people to do the right thing no less than they trusted kings.  In the republic as they created it, the people’s House of Representatives was immensely restricted by not only The Bill of Rights, but also by a Senate (whose members were originally selected by the states, a tenet changed to a more democratic “direct election by the people” via the 17th Amendment in 1913), a president with veto power, and by a Supreme Court (unless you hold that judicial review was never intended).5

The problem with pure democracy, as many key founders such as John Adams, James Madison, John Quincy Adams, Fisher Ames, Gouverneur Morris, Benjamin Rush, Rufus King, Noah Webster, and many others saw it, was that it does not have freedom as its ultimate and pure end.  Democracy is truly nothing more than majoritarianism and is in no way compatible with true and lasting freedom.  James Madison postulated that under a strictly democratic government, “There is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party or the obnoxious individual.”  Likewise, John Adams argued that democracies only grant rights to citizens which can be revoked by the majority on a whim, but a republic owes its entire existence to securing and protecting rights.6

Put in simplistic terms, freedom is the relative absence of coercive action(s) by a government.  Understanding this our founding fathers created, it can be argued, the least coercive government in the history of the world.  For the first time in recorded history, a government was established to protect the rights, liberties, and property of the whole citizenry.  Coercion by the government in any way, other than that which is and has been deemed necessary to secure those rights, was and is forbidden.  It has been forbidden through The Bill of Rights, and through the doctrine of strictly enumerated powers.  It could be said that this reflects the belief of many key founders, that a strictly democratic government could be as tyrannical as any monarchy.  The Constitution of 1787 puts the strictest of limitations on government that even the most powerful majority can never overrule.7

Even our current president seems to believe that our nation is ultimately a democracy.  While in a joint press conference with Gerhard Schroeder, President George W. Bush was quoted as saying, “We believe... that the voice of the people ought to be determining policy, because we believe in democracy.”  But does President Bush, in his heart of hearts, truly believe this?  Would any American president (not including those currently running, only those who hold or have held the office) permit a poll of Americans to decide how long our troops should remain entrenched in Iraq?  Would any American president submit their immigration policy to a popular vote?8  Of course not.  It is much the same as asking if President Bush, Iraqi Kurds and Sunnis would permit a truly democratic election in modern day Iraq, free of United States interference and influence.  Again, the answer would be no.  Such an election would in all likelihood result in the creation of a Shiite theocratical government.  In this instance the outcome would unquestionably be democratic.  But would it be free?  Under a Shiite theocracy, would Kurds and Sunnis feel as though they were free?  Of course not.9  For these same reasons, our founding fathers abhorred the idea of a democracy, knowing full well the tyranny and subjugation that history had ever shown it would bring.

Our founding fathers ultimate answer, was a sort of hybrid government.  To be certain, The Constitution of 1787 even states in its text that our government is a republic, and that it owes to each state a “republican form of government.”  But within that republic government, was a democratic process.  A very limited and rather weak democratic process, but a democratic process nonetheless.  A republic is a representative form of government, and one requiring the rule of law(s), not feelings.10  One where the minority and the individual were, and are forever, protected from the majority mob.

There is further evidence that key founding fathers felt that a republic was far more desirable than a democracy.  One bit of evidence which it can be argued could be the most important safeguard against “mobocracy” included by the founding fathers, and which has withstood the test of time, is the Electoral College.  Rather than leave the election of the highest office in the land to the whims and feelings of the American people at-large, the Constitutional Convention saw the need to make sure that certain population centers (which can tend to feel very different than the rest of the nation) didn’t have an undue role in this arena.  Instead, they decided on a system where the majority of the states would decide who would be come president, and chose against leaving this the whims of the majority of the electorate.

Our founding fathers feared and abhorred tyranny by any name.  Be it a monarchy, an aristocracy, an oligarchy, or even a democracy.  The whims of one, few, or many can be just as dangerous as the others.  Pure “mob rule” can no more be tolerated than the tyrannical acts of a self-serving monarch on a power trip.  But to ensure that a sort of elitist crowd hopefully never came to too much power in our nation and our government, our founding fathers saw in their amazing wisdom, the necessity to ensure that a democratic process was put in place alongside a republican form of government if for no other reason than to placate the populous at large.  Ultimately, the people must be held responsible for the continuance of their free society and government.  A rather famous exchange between Benjamin Franklin and a woman on the street, and a lesser known quote from Thomas Jefferson, may very well sum up this feeling;

“What kind of government do we have?”, the lady asked Mr. Franklin as he emerged from the Constitutional Convention.

“A republic!”, came the reply from Benjamin Franklin.  “If you can keep it.’

John Adams is known to have said, "A mob is no less a mob, even though they are with you."

But as for Jefferson, he said; “Hear no more of trust in men, but rather bind them from mischief with the chains of The Constitution.”11

No other person or persons, alive, dead, or yet to come, may ever have or ever be able to say it better.

End Notes

1. David Barton, Original Intent: The Courts, the Constitution, and Religion

(Aledo, TX: Wall Builder Press, 2000), 335 - 337

2. Ibid

3. “A Republic, Not a Democracy”, Patrick J. Buchanan,

<> (22 February 2008)

4. Ibid

5. Ibid

6. “Democracy Is Not Freedom”, Rep. Ron Paul, MD,

<> (11 February 2008)

7. Ibid

8. “A Republic, Not a Democracy”, Patrick J. Buchanan,

<> (22 February 2008)

9. “Democracy Is Not Freedom”, Rep. Ron Paul, MD,

<> (11 February 2008)

10. David Barton, Original Intent: The Courts, the Constitution, and Religion

(Aledo, TX: Wall Builder Press, 2000), 335 - 337 

11. “A Republic, Not a Democracy”, Patrick J. Buchanan,

<> (22 February 2008)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Obama and his family left Trinity United. But does it matter?

Personally, I am so sick and tired of the kid gloves that MUST be used when discussing Barack Obama. So, before I delve into this specific topic of his relationship with Trinity United Church of Christ, I feel it necessary to explain how I feel about Obama, his campaign, and who he is as opposed to who he portrays himself as:

His name is Barack Hussein Obama. Saying his middle name IS NOT RACIST. I am not insinuating that his middle name makes him a terrorist or a dictator in the making. Actually, his POLICIES and PROPOSALS make him a dictator in the making. And until he needed his name for political purposes, he was known as Barry Obama.

He is more liberal than John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, or Hillary Rodham Clinton. That is just scary...

He was born a Muslim, and there is zero public knowledge of him EVER renouncing Islam. According to Islamic law, he is STILL A MUSLIM until he renounces Islam.

Now, after MONTHS of continual reports of drivel emminating from the pulpit of his home church of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, which he and his family have attended for 20 years (his daughters were baptized by the lead pastor, who also officiated his wedding to Michelle Obama), Barack Hussein Obama has announced that he is rescinding his familes' membership. Obama says that in his 20 years at Trinity, he did not know about these sermons, beliefs, afro-centrism, etc.. This is basically akin to stealing a line from former President Bill Clinton ("I didn't inhale...") by saying, "I attended, but I didn't listen." But is it too little too late, and does it really matter at this point?

Note: If you are lost as to the "drivel" at this point, go to YouTube and search for Reverend Wright and/or Pfleger. Watch the videos of these gentlemens' racist tirades.

In short, YES it is too little too late, and NO it does not matter at this point. Ultimately, Obama's membership in this church can only be construed in one of two ways;

Option #1
Obama knew what was going on, and either believed in most if not all of it, or was willing to ignore it. Regardless, this makes him unfit for the office of president!

Option #2
He never agreed with the statements and/or beliefs of the church and its' leadership, and ignored them as he needed this chuch and the connections that came with it in order to attain "black cred" in Chicago. He stuck with Trinity as long as it was politically profitable to him, and is now distancing himself in an attempt to save his campaign heading into the general election. Again, this makes him unfit for the office of president!

No matter how you slice it, Barack Hussein Obama's connection to Trinity United Church of Christ, Jeremiah Wright, Michael Pfleuger, Tony Rezko, convicted terrorist William Ayers, and many others make him unfit for the office of president.

Faithfully Submitted
-Publius X