A Democracy?

“Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner”

 - James Bovard

         

English: Detail of Preamble to Constitution of...

Democracy vs. Republic

It is frightening when I hear someone refer to this country as a democracy.  Often times, it is elected officials, trying to speak in a language that sounds eloquent and patriotic.  Why does it frightening me? Mainly because the United States contains some portions of a democracy; but, in the end, is and was intended to be closer to a Republic.

Perhaps it may seem as if it is really is just an issue of definitions, but what if it is a whole lot more than that?  What if it is planned and an attempt to establish this democratic set-up?

Let’s look at what a democracy actually is.

Suppose a small group of people approach you and your family while you are walking down the street.  This group encircles your family and demands that you give your wallets, purses, and other valuables to them. Being that you are outnumbered, you comply with your oppressors’ demands.  Being robbed of everything you had on you, your captors are now appeased and they disappear.   The basic concept of Democracy supports what just happened.

Want to counter-argue that the example sounds extreme and there are laws prohibiting what just happened?

Let’s say the country just voted to make it legal to take others’ property?  A pure democracy would support this too; because democracy is based on the concept that majority rule is the final decision.  It does not matter what is deemed right, wrong, ethical, or unethical because the majority have decided what is to happen.

Democracy is mob rule.

For a simple definition, a Republic has boundaries that serve to protect from mob rule and shield individuals or groups from errant majority opinions.  The U.S. was intended to have the will of the people expressed and to guide the nation, but there is a severe difference from Democracy.  This difference is that if at any time the will of the majority of people goes outside the bounds of the U.S. Constitution, then it is to be rejected.

In all correctness, the United States is a Democratic Republic, in which the majority (voters) chooses through (representation) to make decisions for the country.  All these decisions by the majority’s elected officials are tempered through the court system.  If challenged, the courts then decide whether laws passed are within the boundaries set by the constitution.

Fast forward to today’s current hot topics and look how the concept of democracy has taken a tight grasp on many people’s thinking.

There are groups calling for the government to force religious groups to violate their convictions and provide free contraception.  On another front, there are people calling for the rich to pay an undetermined “fair share” of taxes, with talk of 99% against the 1%.  The whole concept of a 99% is ploy to stoke these democratic sentiments.

If the United States was a democracy, as some desire; these actions would have happened without any questioning of the legality. In fact, the 1% wealthy could have every penny taken legally from them if the 99% decided that was what they wanted.

This is why we have a Democratic Party and a Republican Party, and why the term “democracy” has been carefully turned into an acceptable description of our nation.  In basic, the Democratic Party theoretically is based on the belief that the will of the people is what matters, no matter what the majority supports at the moment.

It is mob rule vs. individual rights. 

 

“Democracy is the road to socialism.” – Karl Marx