Is America A Democracy?
By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D. April 27, 2018
It’s quite common nowadays to hear liberals and even uninformed conservatives call America a democracy. Yet we are neither a democracy nor a representative democracy.
By definition, in a democracy what the majority feels is the rule. The Founders described this scenario as “mobocracy.” Contrast that with a republic where the general population elects representatives who pass laws. The nation is governed by rule of law, not what the majority feels at a given moment.
Because they knew that democracies have always been unstable and short lived, our Founding Fathers established a republic form of government instead. Their fears about the dangers of a democracy were often addressed in their writings.
In democracy . . . there are commonly tumults and disorders. . . .Therefore a pure democracy is generally a very bad government. It is often the most tyrannical government on earth. (Noah Webster)
….experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short lived. (John Quincy Adams)
It may generally be remarked that the more a government resembles a pure Democracy the more they abound with disorder and confusion. (Zephaniah Swift, Author of America’s First Legal Text)
Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state, it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage. (John Witherspoon, Signer of the Declaration)
In his essay, “America: Republic or Democracy,” radical Green Party activist William P. Meyers labeled the Founding Fathers “predatory elitists”, who founded the U.S. as a republic for their own selfish gain. Meyers contends that “national government was seen by George Washington and company not as a method of extending freedom and the right to vote, but as a way of keeping control in the hands of rich.”
He assures his readers that for two centuries Americans have been working to undo the work of the “selfish” Founders’ by transforming their republic to a democracy. Of course, Meyers never discusses the difference between majority rule and rule of law and the impact upon individual rights.
Liberals are eager to eradicate all references to our constitutional republic form of government and have been working tirelessly to rewrite curriculum standards, especially those for social studies, to reflect their socialist agenda.
Liberals viciously attack conservatives who dare to point out that America is a republic and accuse them of rewriting history.
In addition to infiltrating the education system, liberals have for decades purposely and subversively eroded our Constitutional rights through federal legislation, including Constitutional amendments and federal judicial decisions, taking America down the road toward pure democracy with control by an elite few.
Using a living Constitution approach, activist federal judges create policy to reflect modern needs through their own rewritten version of the Constitution.
Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes was quite forthright about judges legislating from the bench in his 1907 speech at Elmira, “We are under a constitution, but the constitution is what the judges say it is.”
These unelected and unaccountable judges are committing impeachable offenses in their failing to uphold the Constitution.
Unstated by liberals and unrecognized by many Americans is the fact that under a living constitution, an unaccountable elite few are empowered to make decisions at their whim on behalf of the people. Rule of law ceases to exist and the rights of the individual are invariably trampled.
Just as many Americans failed to recognize the ramifications of Barack Hussein Obama’s promise of a “transformation” of America, they also fail to understand how and why we have strayed far afield from those principles that made us the greatest nation on earth.
As the years pass and we drift further from our original Constitution, we witness daily the chaos, instability, and tyranny our Founders feared if we dissolved into a democracy.
In 1816 Thomas Jefferson warned, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” Abraham Lincoln, too, reminded us that “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
A survey conducted in December 2009 by the nonprofit American Revolution Center (ARC), showed that Americans knew more about the Gosselins, a TV reality family, than our U.S. Constitution. Only 54 percent could identify James Madison as the “Father of the Constitution” even with the other choices being Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill. When asked about the chronological order of the Declaration of Independence, 44 percent thought either the Civil War, The Emancipation Proclamation, or the War of 1812 came first.
America is in a terrible state of crisis. We are losing what our brilliant founders fought to preserve by giving us a republic form of government—the power of the People to make their own decisions, personal liberty, and the rights of the individual.
Unless each generation of Americans receives a solid grounding in our founding principles and our Constitutional rights, we cannot and will not remain a free nation.