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The Founding Fathers Rejected Democracy

by Harold Pease

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

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.


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Comment by Marklar on July 5, 2010 at 2:01am
Why do I get the feeling John Cleese is about to pop up in here?
Comment by fireguy on July 4, 2010 at 8:36pm
Harken to thine own words Sir Marklar. Enjoyeth your rousing July the Fourth revelries repleat with loud and raucous explosions and celestial lights, poundest a pint or 3 of your favorite libation and enjoy the company of a winsome wench or lad as your bent may be, but that is nonest of my business.
Comment by Marklar on July 4, 2010 at 8:19pm
Perhaps forsooth ye might wish to speak in modern terms so that modern folk might be enlightened without calling forth such spirits of the past as would use such archaic distinctions. Yea and verily, ye might even do so whilst eating some Frankish fries with your Yankee Frankfurters and other holiday victuals.
Comment by Nikki on July 4, 2010 at 6:25pm
Democracies and republics are not opposites. There are overlaps but with important distinctions. I don't believe it's a waste of time to discuss these nuances on July 4th especially if one has children who are just learning these issues. Otherwise, we end up like this.
Comment by Marklar on July 4, 2010 at 11:13am
They also were highly concerned about protecting the elite landowners from "the rabble" like any rich assholes anywhere.

The fact is that 200+ years ago a democracy and a republic were considered to be different things. Today it is recognized the a republic is a FORM of democracy, also known as representative democracy. Language changes and evolves over time. By insisting that democracy is antithetical to a republic you simply show a poor grasp of language and spend your time rather poorly rather than addressing real issues.

A republic is not direct democracy but it IS a democracy.
Comment by Nikki on July 3, 2010 at 8:22pm
And they rejected being subjects too, thanks Ironsides!
Comment by Ironsides on July 3, 2010 at 7:54pm


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