A Republic If You Can Keep It.
Just after the completion and signing of the Constitution, in reply to a woman’s inquiry as to the type of government the Founders had created, Benjamin Franklin said, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
It doesn’t look like we can.
Yesterday the Senate stripped the rule of minority consent, sold by the media (our forth branch of government) under the obfuscation term of “the filibuster rule”, nothing has been so stark as to destroy the very foundation from our republic.
I mean it sounds good, doesn’t it?
Our founding fathers knew better. Do people today even know the difference between a Republic and a Democracy?
A Republic is representative government ruled by law (the Constitution). A democracy is direct government ruled by the majority (mob rule). A Republic recognizes the inalienable rights of individuals while democracies are only concerned with group wants or needs (the public good).
Lawmaking is a slow, deliberate process in our Constitutional Republic requiring approval from the three branches of government, the Supreme Court and individual jurors (jury-nullification). Lawmaking in our unlawful democracy occurs rapidly requiring approval from the whim of the majority as determined by polls and/or voter referendums.
Democracies always self-destruct when the non-productive majority realizes that it can vote itself handouts from the productive minority by electing the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury. To maintain their power, these candidates must adopt an ever-increasing tax and spend policy to satisfy the ever-increasing desires of the majority. As taxes increase, incentive to produce decreases, causing many of the once productive to drop out and join the non-productive. When there are no longer enough producers to fund the legitimate functions of government and the socialist programs, the democracy will collapse, always to be followed by a Dictatorship.
If you don’t think that’s where we’re headed, you’re not paying attention. Even the media is seeing something odd about this administration.
John Adams, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, championed the new Constitution in his state precisely because it would not create a democracy. “Democracy never lasts long,” he noted. “It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself.” He insisted, “There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide”
New York’s Alexander Hamilton, in a June 21, 1788 speech urging ratification of the Constitution in his state, thundered:
“It has been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity.”
Earlier, at the Constitutional Convention, Hamilton stated:
“We are a Republican Government. Real liberty is never found in despotism or in the extremes of Democracy.”
James Madison, who is rightly known as the “Father of the Constitution,”wrote in The Federalist, No. 10:
“democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they are violent in their deaths.”
Fisher Ames served in the U.S. Congress during the eight years of George Washington’s presidency. A prominent member of the Massachusetts convention that ratified the Constitution for that state, he termed democracy “government by the passions of the multitude, or, no less correctly, according to the vices and ambitions of their leaders.”
On another occasion, he labeled democracy’s majority rule one of “the intermediate stages towards tyranny.” He later opined:
“Democracy, in its best state, is but the politics of Bedlam; while kept chained, its thoughts are frantic, but when it breaks loose, it kills the keeper, fires the building, and perishes.”
And in an essay entitled The Mire of Democracy, he wrote that the framers of the Constitution “intended our government should be a republic, which differs more widely from a democracy than a democracy from a despotism.”
Since this has been serious and bleak, I will end with some humor.