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.