College of Political Knowledge
This is the question whether it is noble to allow the people to rule or by opposing the idea end it.
And the debate rages.
To answer the question posed….the US is a republic….it was never intended to be a democracy.
The Founders made damn sure of this fact.
Few of the Founders had anything good to say about ‘democracy’….a few quotes to illustrate their distrust…..
“Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. ” John Adams
“Were out State a pure democracy, in which all inhabitants should meet together to transact all their business, there would yet be excluded from their deliberations. 1. infants, until arrived at years of discretion. 2. Women, who, to prevent depravation of morals and ambiguity of issue, could not mix promiscuously in the public meetings of men. 3. Slaves, from whom the unfortunate state of things with us takes away the right of will and of property. T hose then who have no will could be permitted to exercise none in the popular assembly; and of course, could delegate none to an agent in a representative assembly. The business, in the first case, would be done by qualified citizens only.” Thomas Jefferson
“One of the worst forms of government is a pure democracy, that is, one in which the citizens enact and administer the laws directly. Such a government is helpless against the mischiefs of faction.” James Madison
I would say that their fears of democracy have been founded in their republic.
Those Founding Fathers were enamored with the idea of a ‘republic’…..
“There is no good government but what is republican. That the only valuable part of the British constitution is so; for the true idea of a republic is “an empire of laws, and not of men.” That, as a republic is the best of governments, so that particular arrangement of the powers of society, or in other words, that form of government which is best contrived to secure an impartial and exact execution of the law, is the best of republics.” John Adams
“I trust that the proposed Constitution afford a genuine specimen of representative government and republican government; and that it will answer, in an eminent degree, all the beneficial purposes of society.” Alexander Hamilton
In the end of the Founding Period the republic won out….but sadly these learned men did not foresee the rise of political parties……the bane of good government.
I asked the question: Are we a democracy or a republic?
This article answers the question better than I…..
Despite clear historical evidence showing that the United States was established as a republic and not a democracy, there is still confusion regarding the difference between these two very different systems of government. Some confusion stems because the word “democracy” is used to describe both a “type” and a “form” of government. As a “type” of government, it means that generally free elections are held periodically, which America has. But, as a “form” of government, it means rule by the majority, which America does not have; America is a republic. Webster`s 1828 dictionary states that a Republic is: “A commonwealth; a state in which the exercise of the sovereign power is lodged in representatives elected by the people. In modern usage, it differs from a democracy or democratic state, in which the people exercise the powers of sovereignty in person…” In a democratic form of government, the populace votes on all matters that affect them, and do not elect others to represent their interests. Therefore, a majority-rules direct democracy gives unlimited power to the majority with no protection of the individual`s God-given inalienable rights or the rights of minority groups. In contrast, in a Republic, the power of the majority is limited by a written constitution which safeguards the God-given inalienable rights of minority groups and individuals alike. It is historically relevant to note that since the birth of our nation in 1776, no American president referred to America as a democracy until Woodrow Wilson misapplied the term during World War I. Sadly, today, it has become common to use the term democracy in describing our form of government, including in recent years by both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
These days this debate is a moot point.
Moot point because it is ll about the semantics
The experiment that the Founders put together is at a stressed point…..does it continue as envisioned or does it morph into something else?
I am old and I am worried but I believe the republic will endure….but at what cost?
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”