“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to have for lunch.”
– Most-often attributed to Benjamin Franklin
America is not a democracy. This is a fact which most learn at an early age, but in today’s era of revisionist history and union-sponsored education, it is important to reiterate. America is a constitutional republic. We employ democracy when we elect our representatives, but that is a far cry from being a democracy.
The difference between the two systems is crucial. A democracy is where everything is decided by majority rule; rights, laws, everything. A republic is where individuals are elected to serve as representatives of the people and the government in which they serve is bound by the rule of law and the sovereign rights of individuals it represents.
The tension which exists between these two systems is precisely the tension which exists between our two prevailing political parties, the democra(ts) and the republic(ans). Those who favor moving our nation closer to a pure democracy are those who argue that everything should be subject to the will of the masses. When Democrats don’t like the prohibition against redefining marriage, their inclination is to argue that the will of the people should trump the rights of individuals and that the Constitution should be seen as a “living document”, subject to the whims of the people.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Our Founders did everything possible to prevent our Constitution from being a living document. They understood that the freedoms and liberties they wanted to safeguard were only possible in an environment which recognizes absolute morality and individual sovereignty. When rights are determined by majority rule, then only those who adhere to the majority will be granted rights. As Sultan Knish so adroitly explains in a recent column,
Like the American elections of 2012, it was about entitled groups elevating a totemic figure on a pole that represented their identity. And when group identity is asserted as national identity, then elections come down to demographic contests where group power, not ideas or policies, is the true prize.
Group votes don’t lead to human rights, they lead to group privileges. They lead to rights for some and no rights for others. They lead to a group state where group membership is citizenship and lack of group membership is treason.
Our nation is rapidly becoming one where we no longer align ourselves with ideas and concepts, but with demographics and demagogues. Ironically, it is the ones who are bleating the loudest about acceptance and tolerance who do the least of either of these activities.
America is not alone in this transformation; in fact we are a bit behind the curve. As Sultan Knish points out, one has only to look to the Arab Spring to see how democracy manifests itself in a moral vacuum, isolated from individual sovereignty. The group-ism found in Egypt or Syria is remarkable in that the nations are cycling so rapidly. No longer does it take a generation, or even a decade, for one dictator to replace another. Egypt has swung from Group Mubarak to Group Muslim Brotherhood in little over a year and now they look like they are ready to swing to yet another group in time for spring. And with each transition, the rights, liberties, and privileges of Egyptians are rewritten to favor the victorious and punish the defeated.
This is what happens when individual rights are subject to majority rule and group identification is more important than ideology. As we are bombarded with more and more advertising propaganda about having life “your way” and crafting your own reality, we are lurching ever more perceptibly into groupthink. Instead of the sovereignty of individuals, our nation is increasingly based on the privileges held by approved groups and identities.
We are almost approaching a sort of ideological Communism, where all ideas are equally valid . . . and some ideas are more equally valid than others. Like Animal Farm, we are learning that all animals are not granted the same innate rights. It depends on how closely you are aligned with Napoleon and Snowball, which determines how equal you really are. One can almost hear the sheeple bleating “Four parental units goooooood, two parental units baaaaaad….”
Democracy is a bait-and-switch. It masquerades under the guise of “fairness” since the most people get their whims satisfied, but it fails to evaluate the validity of those whims before granting their fulfillment. Thank God that our forefathers were insightful enough to understand this and work to prevent it here. I pray He would bless our endeavors to return this country to the rule of law, based on the absolute morality found only in His word.
Democracy is two pigs and a lamb, voting on the rights of pigs over lambs.