Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Democracy vs Republic

from U.S. Constitution Article 4 Section 4 - Republican government

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.


From the Pledge of Allegiance:

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."


This is actually a very confusing subject but there are a few good reads:

In general, a republic represents and protects the rights of each individual according to a constitution (like we do in this country) and in a pure democracy, you've got mobocracy where the majority rules and reigns with no respect to the individual or constitutional principles. [NOTE: In a pure democracy, 51% beats 49%. In other words, the minority has no rights. The minority, even if 49% of the people, only has those privileges granted by the dictatorship of the majority.] So when the President and others say they are spreading democracy throughout the world, that is not true by the original meaning of "democracy", but we are spreading the liberty of each individual. I have no idea when "democracy" changed meaning and the fact that there is a "Democratic" party makes it even more confusing for everyone. There is doubt as to whether or not a pure democracy has ever existed and there is ample proof that those societies that tend towards democracy end up destroying themselves. (search google)

The reason this is such an important point is that Thomas Jefferson said "liberty and ignorance cannot coexist". A Republican form of government needs informed voters to keep the country on track but we have tended to push our country more and more towards a democracy. The constitution and laws are not enough to keep the country on track, but each individual must do his best to hold to and promote the best of American principles. When over 50% of the people out there vote for change simply for the sake of change, they are ignorant of
  1. why the economy is so bad ("it's Bush's fault!!!" they say)
  2. why socialism doesn't work
  3. why it is important to ensure stability in Iraq before pulling out (regardless of why we went in in the first place)
  4. why government can't do everything for them., etc.
Socialism and pure democracy seem to be related ideas. So in a pure democracy the majorty could and would probably vote for "spread the wealth" of the rich folks and the rich minority (even if 49% of the people) couldn't do anything to stop it and would have no constitutional protection. Our constitution protects us from the evils of pure democracy, but Obama's ideas scare me because they represent those "excesses of democracy" our founding fathers wanted to protect us from.

1 comment:

martycaruthers said...

Nathan, Just curious and would like a comment or maybe some insight on you thoughts concerning Founding Fathers and the idea of the founding of our nation.