May 30, 2007

Democracy

Contrary to popular belief, America is NOT a democracy. It is actually a republic. The people elect a representative of themselves to make decisions in the Houses, elect people to elect a representative for president, who then appoints the Supreme Court and his cabinet. The only slightly democratic notion is the universal suffrage for election, but this hardly makes America a democracy. At most I would call it what some other people do - a democratic republic.

It angers me greatly when Sean Hannedy or Rush Limbaugh talk of "spreading democracy throughout the world," as if democracy was worth spreading. What it amounts to is mob rule - the group with the most members wins out. If all the masses vote, then who knows what the result will be. Therefore, a universal suffrage democracy is absolutely the wrong kind of government. At least a limitation based on education must be imposed - at least a high school diploma, for example. But even then a person is far more likely to simply vote based upon what he, as an individual, wants. If each person voted like that...

Democracy is not all it's cracked up to be.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Guess who said...

True, but despite all the added complexity it still depends on the people to choose good leaders. There are only two differences I see between a democracy and a republic of the American type: a republic relies on people being able to gauge the intelligence of others rather than relying on their own, and it is a tad (might be larger than a tad except for the mass means of communication and whatnot in our modern era) harder for those of ill will to find that there are enough others who would join them to form a majority.

Unfortunately, the first of those still bears the trouble that uneducated people won't know the difference between good ideas governmentally and bad ideas that look good. They will choose representatives who say what they like, and if what they like is stupid it will be no better than democracy. Plus, a representative can promise those who elect him one thing and then go and do something completely different.

As for the second, it is completely undone by that infamous tool of finding other people to band with whether they truly deserve support or not, the party system. It shouldn't have taken till the recent moral wishy-washiness of the Republican Party for people to realize that the parties, because they undo one of the few real advantages of a republic, are more danger than help.

What can be done about the party system will depend on the political field. We wouldn't want to lose the government to the likes of Obama and Hillary if we could help it. If the republican candidate isn't Pro-Life, though, I say it won't do any good to support him just to fight the Democrats. So, a lot is hanging on who gets the Republican nomination. We may have an opportunity to attack the party system as a whole, or at least the deadlock of the two big ones that both are unreliable (actually, you can rely on one of them to be bad at least).

Oh, one last thing: one could argue that the complexity of a republic makes it harder to corrupt, but then again it's also harder to control as well.

~Scott

July 30, 2007 2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Little correction...

As of late, I am hearing that the US is a Constitutional Federal Republic. Nitpicky, but just if anyone was wondering...

- Louis

August 07, 2008 10:53 AM  

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