The senile fool Biden, in another of his characteristic rambling, incoherent speeches this week, repeatedly lauded “our democracy” as if that’s actually what this country is, the original system of government the Founders set up for their posterity. T’ain’t so, McGee; any poor sod with even the most niggardly dollop of historical literacy in his gift knows better than that. Eric Peters last year posted a collection of quotes condemning democracy in the most virulent terms from our blessed ancestors, which one of his handlers/wardens/keepers should consider reading to the stumblebum ***”president”*** sometime so as to enlighten his stupid ass. After the quotes, Eric provides some commentary of his own, interspersed with more historical context.
In light of the Founders’ view on the subject of republics and democracies, it is not surprising that the Constitution does not contain the word “democracy,” but does mandate: “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government.”
These principles were once widely understood. In the 19th century, many of the great leaders, both in America and abroad, stood in agreement with the Founding Fathers. John Marshall, chief justice of the Supreme Court from 1801 to 1835 echoed the sentiments of Fisher Ames. “Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos,” he wrote. American poet James Russell Lowell warned that “democracy gives every man the right to be his own oppressor.” Lowell was joined in his disdain for democracy by Ralph Waldo Emerson, who remarked that “democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors.” Across the Atlantic, British statesman Thomas Babington Macauly agreed with the Americans. “I have long been convinced,” he said, “that institutions purely democratic must, sooner or later, destroy liberty or civilization, or both.” Britons Benjamin Disraeli and Herbert Spencer would certainly agree with their countryman, Lord Acton, who wrote: “The one prevailing evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections.”
By the 20th century, however, the falsehoods that democracy was the epitome of good government and that the Founding Fathers had established just such a government for the United States became increasingly widespread. This misinformation was fueled by President Woodrow Wilson’s famous 1916 appeal that our nation enter World War I “to make the world safe for democracy” — and by President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1940 exhortation that America “must be the great arsenal of democracy” by rushing to England’s aid during WWII.
Very few of us have probably thought it all the way through, but as it happens, this sudden drive to promote democracy over the true American ideal of government had a specific and most sinister purpose behind it.
On September 17 (Constitution Day), 1961, John Birch Society founder Robert Welch delivered an important speech, entitled “Republics and Democracies,” in which he proclaimed: “This is a Republic, not a Democracy. Let’s keep it that way!” The speech, which was later published and widely distributed in pamphlet form, amounted to a jolting wake-up call for many Americans. In his remarks, Welch not only presented the evidence to show that the Founding Fathers had established a republic and had condemned democracy, but he warned that the definitions had been distorted, and that powerful forces were at work to convert the American republic into a democracy, in order to bring about dictatorship.
Welch understood that democracy is not an end in itself but a means to an end. Eighteenth century historian Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee, it is thought, argued that, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.” And as British writer G.K. Chesterton put it in the 20th century: “You can never have a revolution in order to establish a democracy. You must have a democracy in order to have a revolution.”
The push for democracy has only been possible because the Constitution is being ignored, violated, and circumvented. The Constitution defines and limits the powers of the federal government. Those powers, all of which are enumerated, do not include agricultural subsidy programs, housing programs, education assistance programs, food stamps, etc. Under the Constitution, Congress is not authorized to pass any law it chooses; it is only authorized to pass laws that are constitutional. Anybody who doubts the intent of the Founders to restrict federal powers, and thereby protect the rights of the individual, should review the language in the Bill of Rights, including the opening phrase of the First Amendment (“Congress shall make no law…”).
As Welch explained in his 1961 speech:
…man has certain unalienable rights which do not derive from government at all…And those…rights cannot be abrogated by the vote of a majority any more than they can by the decree of a conqueror. The idea that the vote of a people, no matter how nearly unanimous, makes or creates or determines what is right or just becomes as absurd and unacceptable as the idea that right and justice are simply whatever a king says they are. Just as the early Greeks learned to try to have their rulers and themselves abide by the laws they had themselves established, so man has now been painfully learning that there are more permanent and lasting laws which cannot be changed by either sovereign kings or sovereign people, but which must be observed by both. And that government is merely a convenience, superimposed on Divine Commandments and on the natural laws that flow only from the Creator of man and man’s universe.
Such is the noble purpose of the constitutional republic we inherited from our Founding Fathers.
Amen. Can anyone be surprised that, as we have wandered ever deeper into the muck and mire of an artificially generated and wholly misguided infatuation with democracy, our national plight has steadily worsened in equal proportion? As I always say: The fault, dear Horatio, lies not in the principles of our Founders, but in ourselves. The farther we stray from the ideals and prescriptions of those great men, the more wretched the misery we create for ourselves becomes.