Ask most people, and they’ll say democracy means majority rule — you know, rule by more than 50%. They’ll say it fondly because democracy is a word that, all by itself, evokes good feelings. It’s visceral. Heck, even one-party communist countries and dictatorships honor democracy. Kim Jong-un, Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Xi Jinping, Fidel Castro, and Julius Caesar all were elected.
Let’s set aside the feel-good ring of the word democracy. Let’s think about it rationally. Is it always a good thing? Has it ever been a bad thing? Has it ever been a horrible, hateful, deadly, inhumane thing? Has it ever robbed us of our “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”?
When we worship democracy as a religion, we don’t question what the majority says. We allow the majority to replace fact with fiction.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the majority said that 58,000 of our loved ones had to die in Vietnam. Why? Because our capitalistic society needed protection against its certain destruction, in the event that Vietnam became a unified communist country.
In 1857, the majority said that Dred Scott was tangible personal property belonging to his slave master, without any more constitutional rights than a soiled diaper. Why? Because Black men born in a “slave State” are not entitled to protection by our Constitution, as are White men and corporations.
This is democracy in action. This is majority rule. This is how any group who can put together a majority on any issue has the power to do anything to anybody. Truth be damned. Morality be damned. Consequences be damned.
Our Founding Fathers did not believe in democracy. They did not create America as a democracy. They created America as a constitutional republic, with limited government power, with checks and balances within government, with an Electoral College to protect We the People against democracy.
When the majority with the loud microphones say that America is a democracy, what you know for sure is that they want to undermine our Founding Fathers. When they say they want democracy now, what you know for sure is that they know they can put together a majority on the issues they care about.
Being able to put together a democratic majority is the ultimate power. It’s also the ultimate threat — Bolsheviks, Nazis, Salem witch trials, and a posse with a noose.
If you think the majority always is ready, willing, and able to selflessly control your life and property better than you can, and do so with intelligence and high moral standards, then you probably think democracy ain’t so bad. If you think otherwise, then you should listen to them less, question them more, and question yourself more.