What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
Famous words, by Benjamin Franklin. They describe the form of government that the Founding Fathers created.
Tonight I came across this excellent article that demonstrates how our country was founded as a republic, not a democracy. In fact, the word ‘democracy’ isn’t found in the U.S. Constitution at all, but ‘republic’ is. From the article:
During the 1950s, Clarence Manion, the dean of Notre Dame Law School, echoed and amplified what the Beards had so correctly stated. He summarized: “The honest and serious student of American history will recall that our Founding Fathers managed to write both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution without using the term ‘democracy’ even once. No part of any of the existing state Constitutions contains any reference to the word. [The men] who were most influential in the institution and formulation of our government refer to ‘democracy’ only to distinguish it sharply from the republican form of our American Constitutional system.”
This, for some odd reason, is not a widely-known fact. In fact, people are so ignorant (or perhaps this is intentional) that they even quote Franklin as having said “A Democracy, if you can keep it.” Uhhh, I don’t think so.
So what’s so bad about a democracy?
The main thing that comes to mind is the potential for moral relativism and sin to creep into government, policy, and law. In a republic, there are set laws, based on “self-evident truths”. In a democracy, your laws are based on the ideals, desires, and whims of the majority of the people (or in our government’s case, the politicians themselves, and their lobbyists). This becomes a problem when the voice of the majority is wrong.
Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people. And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land. (Mosiah 29:26-27, c.f. Hel. 5:2)
Given that our Republic has “evolved” into a representative democracy, it is obvious that our current form of government is not in line with the view and intent of the Founding Fathers and the Constitution itself. And with the ever-abrasive push of the liberals to impose the desires of the minority onto the majority, only time will tell how soon we will be visited with “great destruction” (as if we haven’t already) as King Mosiah prophesied.