Eff Trump, save our democracy. It’s the battle cry of the day. Entertainers, professional athletes, and media types, demonstrating the psychopathology of a derangement syndrome triggered by Republican presidencies, profanely rant, rave, and break into hysterics before lamenting the loss of our democracy. Most politicians are democracy demagogues ignorantly postulating on the floors of Congress that we must preserve our democracy. Our school children run about demanding we protect democracy from whomever it is they perceive or have been taught is threatening it. Save our democracy rhetoric would be dandy if we had a democracy, but thankfully we do not. If we did have one, it would not be worth saving and by this time in our history we would have either destroyed ourselves or be begging for a dictator to rescue us from mob rule.
In a pure democracy, minority opinions or minorities of any sort do not matter. It’s the adage of two wolves and a sheep voting for what’s for lunch. In a democracy, there is no protection for the sheep. No matter how glorious it’s made to sound as it rolls off the tongues of the ignorant, the mob rules. There are no rights, there is no freedom, unless the mob deems it. As recent events demonstrated mobs, truth be damned, are easily whipped into a frenzy. When our billionaires lobby for a universal wage, the mob cheers and would most certainly vote for it. The mob would trade freedom for a gray suit of clothes and a free paycheck rendering us middle-classless and nationally destitute once we’ve incentivized idleness and drained the national treasury. I know, a tad bit exaggerated but it makes the point. Besides, before the end, a French styled Revolution would break out against the American bourgeoisie and Karl Marx would be overjoyed. But, let’s not sharpen the guillotines just yet.
Fortunately for us, our founders were learned critical thinkers. They didn’t have the Internet to make them lazy and ignorant, their social media was pamphlets and hand-written letters, one-page newspapers, or radical for the time a proclamation nailed to a tree. There were no news monopolies steering thought or public opinion.
In their original form, our founders read books many of them held in their personal libraries. For moral authority, they read the Bible. They read John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government (Hackett Classics) for the concept of natural laws; Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s, The Social Contract (Penguin Books for Philosophy) for the concept of sovereignty; Baron de Montesquieu’s The Spirit of Laws on separate branches of government with checks and balances. They were also influenced by Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations (Bantam Classics) and invisible hand theory that it is people working in their own interests (selfishly or greedily or ever how you choose to characterize it) that grows an economy and the best thing a government can do is get out of the way. They studied forms of government and the reasons many of them failed.
From their studies, discussions and much debate they did arrive at a democratic form of government, but not a democracy. What our founders learned is that government by humans, even the supposedly cherished democracy, always seems to go a little haywire right before collapse. So, they reasoned that men should be ruled by law instead and created a Republic based on that concept. Our form of government is a Constitutional Republic, governed by The Constitution (the law of the land) that protects our natural rights, recognizes the sovereignty of the separate states, and has three branches of government executive, judicial, and legislative complete with checks and balances so that one branch cannot be superior to the others. Our economic system is forever tinkered with, but at its roots is Adam Smith’s invisible hand.
Unlike the mob rule of democracy, the sheep has rights. Rights that are protected and guaranteed by our Constitution as amended by the Bill of Rights. We can never rely on the virtuosity of humans to protect our freedom or physical safety, instead we must rely on adherence to the law of the land lest the wolves have lamb for lunch.
Maybe if we began to educate Americans on the form of our government and actually re-instituted civics teaching at the elementary school level people would began to understand the virtues of a Constitutional Republic versus the drawbacks of mob rule.
© 2018 J. D. Pendry J. D. Pendry’s American Journal