Last time we explored the “specter” of ‘pure democracy’, a system of government greatly feared and derided by our Founding generation, yet the definition of which is poorly understood by Americans of all ages, especially those under 40. It was not always so, because the wise men who crafted our 1787 Constitution knew the differences between democracies, republics, oligarchies, and monarchies, plus all of the freedom destroying or freedom enhancing variants of those forms of government.
THE TYRANNY OF DEMOCRACY
I began Part 1 of this series by quoting from a very interesting article from the blog: Center For Self Governance, written by Bill Norton and published in that blog on Jan. 23, 2017. I resume quoting from Mr. Norton’s observations:
“We are witnessing the tyranny of democracy being played out during this current transition of power (at that time from President Obama to President Trump). Refusal to accept the outcome of the (2016) election based on the popular vote; protests that lead to riots in the streets; boycotts and calling for the elimination of the Electoral College, are just a few symptoms of being conditioned to believe our form of government is a pure democracy. (Remember: ‘pure democracy’=mob rule—whl).
“Voting is the most democratic part of our institutions. It gives the majority of the people direct control over political offices and legislation through the referendum and initiative processes. But care must be taken to check the mob rule mentality that often accompanies democracy ‘actions’. We need a variety of voting methods to prevent mass democracy. The problems that come with the democratic action of voting are kept in check by the law, appointed positions, the Electoral College, federalism, and legislative bodies.
WHY THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE?
“In the (2016) presidential election, wasn’t each candidate promoted as the ‘savior of our nation’? The rallying cries on both sides declared that if their candidate didn’t win, America would not survive four more years. We act as if we are electing a king; then we get angry when they act like a king. This is…predictable in a democratic election, and is exactly why we do NOT have a purely democratic method for electing the POTUS. It was for this very reason the Framers wisely created the Electoral College…(which) was specifically designed to prevent two things:
- To keep the presidential office from becoming that of a ‘king’, a politically charged popularity contest in which the new president only caters to the majority that put them in office….
- To shore up the principle of Federalism,…in which our rights can be protected by one level of government if they are abused by another level of government. The E.C. keeps the presidential election local rather than nationalizing it. If we do away with the E.C., the POTUS would be elected by a few populous states and larger cities…--hardly a true representation of the people of America.
“One of the most dangerous things about democracy is the ability of the majority to vote away the natural rights of a few. This danger is safeguarded by law. We institute specific rules and laws that cannot be changed by a simple vote of the people. Laws must be filtered through multiple bodies representing various branches of government. For example—“democracy” in the House of Representatives, “oligarchy” in the Senate, “monarchy” in the President, “oligarchy” in the Courts, and finally back to “democracy” in the jury (system). This process protects each of us from the tyrannies of mob rule, an elite class, or a monarch.
WHY THE 17th AMENDMENT WAS WRONG
“There is great wisdom in directly electing the House of Representatives every two years. That gives the people a house of their own to directly affect the Federal government. But the House can be emotional and moved by every whim. To check that volatility we have the Senate, but we corrupted that check in 1913 with (passage of) the 17th Amendment—the direct election of Senators. We turned BOTH houses into ‘democracy’. We are left with a self-serving Senate that neither represents the people nor the states. We must rethink the 17th Amendment and return to appointing our Senators by state legislatures, as originally designed (in the U.S. Constitution).
“Our legislative bodies protect us from a pure democracy by establishing fixed laws through a lengthy, deliberative process…(which) guard(s) our legislative process from the tyranny of the majority. Our system was based on a careful study of history, but we have abandoned some fundamental discoveries without an understanding of the history or purpose those principles had in the first place. Most of our meddling has been to either centralize or democratize the system. Ironically, the two represent a simultaneous move closer to tyranny and anarchy, the very extremes our original Republican system was built to avoid….
“Democracy is a temptation not easily refused. But too much of a good thing is NOT a good thing. Too much democracy is violent and destructive, as evidenced by the current political climate. We must keep the necessary guards in place to keep just the right amount of democracy, while protecting our freedoms from mob rule. We must abandon the road to mass democracy and return to simply keeping our Republic as the Framers designed it.”
Mr. Norton’s thoughts are surely compatible with the ORIGINAL INTENT of the wise men who framed and codified our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Unfortunately, in our day other “wise men” have decided that our Founders’ thoughts and protections for our people are hopelessly outmoded, old-fashioned, relics of a bygone era, designed only for a small population of non-homogeneous states. We accept this nonsense—this DELIBERATE PERFIDY—at our peril. We don’t protect our “chickens” by giving a small band of “foxes” keys to the chicken house, and we can’t protect and defend our Constitution and our freedoms by giving total power to those “sly foxes” in The District of Criminals and Corruption and in the main-stream media, by allowing them to tell US how wrong our Founders were. Our Founders were men of honor. Their modern-day detractors are NOT!