Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Democracy Isn't Cool

The Founding Fathers of the United States didn't think Democracy was cool. This is why they established a Constitutional Republican government based on principles of liberty.

To support this premise, I'd like to present a few quotes to support that notion.

From Thomas Jefferson:

"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine."

"The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind."

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it."

From John Adams:

"Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide."

Here's one I've seen attributed to Ben Franklin and John Adams, although it appears to be unverified:

"Democracy has been defined as two wolves and a sheep discussing plans for lunch."

A second line is often added: "Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."

If anyone can show me the original attribution, I would be grateful to correct this post.

In my search for quotes about Democracy by the Founding Fathers, I found that not all of them were consistent.

Jefferson also said:

"Information is the currency of democracy."

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."

On the surface, these statements may seem favorable to the idea of democracy, but not necessarily. The benefits of democracy suggest that the preponderance of public opinion would be listened to, heeded and acted on by politicians in government. However, if the individual is to have his rights respected and dignity acknowledged, the best form of government is one that protects him, even when the majority doesn't wish it so.

I believe that the government was set up by the Fathers to make it exceeding difficult and cumbersome for the government to become efficient and competent at exerting force on individuals. This was not intended so much to make life miserable for our public servants, but for people to exercise their own innate talents and creativity to solve their problems and provide for the benefit of society with as little as government assistance as possible.

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