Constitution 101

Why We Are Not a Democracy

Definitions

Before starting any argument, definitions need to be claimed, and for now we will hold off on any references to any of our own government documents.

First, since many like to claim we are a Democracy, let’s see what Wikipedia has to share…

def democracy

For an even more detailed characteristics, history, types and theory of democracy, just click here (opens new window to Wikipedia).

Now, Republic…

def republic

For an even more detailed characteristics, history, types and theory of republic, just click here (opens new window to Wikipedia).

Even if you read the Wikipedia content, everything is still only somewhat clear, so let’s step it up a bit.

Democracy Views Held by Our Founding Fathers

Anytime there is confusion, accusations, what some may believe are false beliefs, stepping back to the basics as well as the beginning is the wisest step.

Our Founders strove to create a Republic and feared having a Democracy for many reason, some of which are…

James Madison, Federalist Paper No. 10: In a pure democracy, “there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual.”

At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Edmund Randolph said, “… that in tracing these evils to their origin every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy.”

John Adams said, “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

Chief Justice John Marshall observed, “Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.”  (Marshall was the 4th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, serving 1801-1835)

(source: Are We a Republic or a Democracy, Professor Walter E. Williams of George Mason University)

Evidence in our Founding Documents

Of the 4 governing cornerstones, if you will permit to call the such, to our country are:

The Declaration of Independence

The U.S. Constitution

every U.S. State Constitution

Our Pledge of Allegiance

And I’ll throw in our NationalAanthem as well

NONE of the above have the word democracy in them.

However in Article IV, Section 1 of the United States Constitution “guarantee[s] to every State in this Union a Republican form of Government.”

Our founding fathers were adamantly against any form of democracy due to its definition: pure mob rule wins (50% +1) and cannot be challenged.

Which means in a democracy any one person can not challenge the laws that have been passed.

What we are is a Constitutional Republic with a Democratic process — a far cry from any form of Democracy.

Even Benjamin Franklin called our government a republic when questioned by a women outside of Independence Hall.

The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were held in strict secrecy — consequently, anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors.

The answer was provided immediately.

A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?

With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.

A Constitutional Republic is governed not by a majority but by laws of which any ONE person can challenge.

THAT one difference is a HUGE difference as in a Democracy no one can challenge the majority where in a Constitutional Republic one person can.

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